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Look what arrived in a box on the front porch yesterday:

 

Physical copies of my debut picture book, How to Build an Insect!

What's it about?

Calling all curious young scientists, artists and makers! Come into the workshop and find out How to Build an Insect. While you are inside, discover different insect body parts —from head to cerci — and how they go together. At the same time, explore how human body structures compare to those of insects through playful illustrations. The workshop in the book has so much to offer, once you come through the doors, you might not want to leave. Once you do, however, crank up your creativity and build your own insect model!

 

Educators know that hands-on STEAM activities reinforce learning and help youngsters develop fine motor skills. Those abilities will allow adults to perform tasks ranging from a fishermen tying flies to surgeons suturing a patient. Plus, by reading the book young readers will learn to observe, compare, and develop the vocabulary needed to classify and appreciate insects. Full STEAM ahead!

It has been a long journey to publication. I hope children enjoy reading it for years to come.

How to Build an Insect will be available to the public April 6, 2021. You can pre-order copies at the publisher Lerner Books, at our local indie bookstore, Changing Hands, or most other places books are sold.

If you'd like to take a peek at the amazing illustrations, visit Anne Lambelet’s website.

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like more information. Thanks!

2

How did you do with the photo matching quiz from last week?

A. Cicada

matches the cicada nymph exoskeleton on the tree, G.

Cicada nymphs spend one or more years underground before they emerge as adults.

This queen butterfly, B, matches it's caterpillar, H.

They both resemble monarchs, which also feed on milkweeds. Monarchs and viceroys are also close mimics.

 

The insect above, C, Is a honeybee, which build honeycomb below, L.

The ladybug D, emerges from a ladybug pupa like the one below, I.

 

Finally, F, is a genista moth, which was probably the hardest to identify. It's caterpillar is K, below. They feed on a very specific host plant, Texas mountain laurel.

Hope you had fun with this challenging game.

In the past I've posted an end of the year list of my favorite photographs. This year let's mix it up with a matching quiz. Can you match the adult insect with its immature stage or something associated with it? If you want to, leave your results in the comments. Bonus points for correct identifications. Note: Not all letters have been used. All the photos are from 2020.

Adult Insects:

A. She's a big-eyed beauty on a stick.

B. This mimic may fool you because it resembles another popular insect.

C. Often seen visiting flowers.

D. Flies away to the mountains in the summer.

K. The hardest of all, although the answer is here in the blog.

Now match the adults with their life stages or products.

F.  Has a very specific host plant.

G. Sitting on a tree trunk.

H. Hungry, hungry.

I. What life stage is this?

L. Not an insect, but produced by insects.

Have fun!

(The answers are now posted.)