Did you know this week, May 10-16, 2010, is Children's Book Week? (For more information, see the Children's Book Council).
With great timing, I just had a grandma ask me to recommend a book for her 4-year-old granddaughter, who is interested in bugs.
Here's a few of our favorite picture books, both fiction and nonfiction. They are in no particular order and there are many other very good books about insects and spiders out there. I chose these because of they haven't lost their appeal over the years.
Judy Allen and Tudor Humphries have a wonderful nonfiction series, asking the question "Are you...?" Are you a butterfly? Are you a grasshopper? Are you an ant? All are beautifully done and well-researched books. The child is brought into the story in a creative way.
At that age, the First Discovery Series books are fun to explore nonfiction. They have clear acrylic pages that change the scenes when you turn them. We have The Ladybug and Other Insects by Gallimard Jeunesse and Pascale de Bourgoing and Butterflies.
Lois Ehlert's books are visually lovely, and Waiting for Wings is no exception. This book gives the child a chance to learn about both butterflies and plants.
Diane Cronin and Harry Bliss have a lovely series of fiction books with invertebrate main characters. Diary of a Spider, Diary of a Fly and Diary of a Worm are sweet and funny. We discovered them at a bit older age (6 or 7), but I think an advanced four-year-old child would enjoy them.
Two Bad Ants might also be for a bit older child, because in this classic fiction book the ants get into scary situations and the illustrations are not as bright and colorful. Children with a sense of adventure and a good imagination will enjoy it.
We like the ubiquitous Eric Carle books, such as The Very Busy Spider. They are fiction, as Carle has the butterfly in A Very Hungry Caterpillar emerging from a cocoon. (Butterflies don't make cocoons.) I just substitute the word pupa and explain why.
Ruth Heller's How to Hide a Butterfly has fascinating illustrations to explore and a wonderful rhyming text. There are insects and spiders hidden in each two page spread.
I hope you find something useful here.
Do you have any favorite picture books about insects that I've missed?
All the books on this list are personal copies that we purchased. For information on my affiliation with Amazon, see the disclosure page.