Paired Picture Books
Colors of Insects
by me, Laura Purdie Salas
Capstone Press, 2011
(signed discounted copies available here–
be sure to email and specify who you’d like it inscribed to)
I never thought I would like writing a book about bugs, but doing this book really gave me a new appreciation for them (though I still don’t want them in my house!). The pictures are just stunning! It fits right in with?the growing emphasis on visual literacy and visual learning, mixing close-up, large?photos with a brief factual paragraph about each insect. One of my favorites is the blue morpho butterfly. Here’s the text that goes with it:
This blue morpho butterfly isn’t really blue. Its wings have brown, not blue, pigment. But tiny scales on the wings reflect light. That makes the wings look blue. Armies are studying morpho butterflies. They hope to learn how to make better camouflage for soldiers.
And of course, I’d like to add some poems to the mix. So a fun book to pair with this would be Bug Off! Creepy Crawly Poems, by Jane Yolen. This book matches poems with images and prose text. Here’s the nasty tick poem:
POP! Goes the Tick
The tick is mostly mouth,
and if he lands on you
he’ll try to suck your blood,
’cause that’s what all ticks do.
But never try to squeeze him.
He’ll pop! and leave some ick.
Bacteria comes sliding out,
which makes a person sick.
A few fun classroom activities for after you read:
1) Go outside and find a bug to observe. For five whole minutes, just watch the bug. Now sketch the bug–don’t worry about being perfect!
2) Talk about the ways different bugs move and eat. As a group or individually, write a story from the point of the view of the bug, describing its day.
3) Make your own insect rainbow. Draw/color pictures of and write about bugs of all different colors. Arrange them on the bulletin board, organized by color.
P.S. David Harrison has a terrific bugs poetry collection, too. And Lee Bennett Hopkins has a great new?anthology called Nasty Bugs. And for upper elementary kids, Paul Fleischman’s Newbery-winning Joyful Noise is a fabulous collection of poems for two voices–all about bugs. And I just featured Douglas Florian’s UnBEElievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings on Friday.?So many wonderful bug options!
P.P.S. Interested in writing books for the educational market (like my Colors of Insects above)? Check out my textbook, available in print or Kindle version.
Review copies from me and my library.
Travis at 100 Scope Notes?has the Nonfiction Monday roundup!