By Marilyn Singer
EarlyLight Books, $14.95, 32 pages

Kids are fascinated by bugs. The way they look, move, feel…what could be more interesting? Award-winning poet and nature writer Marilyn Singer features the charm of larvae in her book Caterpillars. Using both verse and easy-to-follow narrative text, Singer helps readers discover how these creatures survive in the wild. The extreme close-up photography will delight any young science fan. There are over 100,000 kinds of moths and butterflies throughout the world and all begin as caterpillars. The names of the creepy crawlies roll off the tongue: Yellow Wooly Bear, Looper, European Oak Leaf Roller, Great Peacock, and the Gray Hairstreak. Because caterpillars are small and easy for predators to find, they use their bright colors and fake faces to protect themselves. Photos of caterpillars molting shedding their outer coverings capture the readers’ interest. Some larvae grow brighter as they molt. As butterflies emerge from their chrysalis, they rise as beautiful creatures straight into the skies. Kids will learn the parts of a book, including a glossary, index, and bibliographical references pages. The “Pop Quiz” and the “Match the Caterpillar to the Moth or Butterfly” games reinforce main points. Boys and girls interested in science and bugs will spend hours studying this book.

“Caterpillars smooth, Caterpillars hairy…Munching in a giant bunch, Crunching solitary.”

Elizabeth Franklin