Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Butterflies and Moths



Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday

Here at Teach Mentor Texts we are always looking for more ways to support teachers! We've found that teachers seem to be constantly on the lookout for great nonfiction. We know we are! To help with this undying quest for outstanding non-fiction, we are excited to participate in Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and The Nonfiction Detectives. Every Wednesday, you'll find a non-fiction review here - although it may not always be a picture book review. Please visit Kid Lit Frenzy to see what non-fiction others have to share, too.
Today I have another great non-fiction picture book by Nic Bishop to share with you but I'm rereading this month so I intentionally picked this particular non-fiction picture book to go along with one of my favorite books to reread in the spring: Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly by Alan Madison with illustrations by Kevin Hawkes.
Rereading allows me to really focus on what an author does with text. In preparation for today, I actually reread the other posts I wrote about Velma here at Teach Mentor  Texts. Velma was the third book I reviewed here! I'm almost embarrassed to look back at those first reviews but at the same time I love that this blog has given me the opportunity to easily look back and see how my reviews and writing has evolved. For Picture Book Month in 2011, I shared more about this wonderful gem of a picture book compared to that first review. What I'll say about Velma this time around is that there are wonderful examples of $100 words all throughout and so much to study in the way of description. It's also such a great mentor text for exposition with a picture book. The story goes from introducing us to Velma to Velma's current predicament with the way cool butterfly who definitely has a mind of its own! This story is also a great book to pair up with Nic Bishop's book Butterflies and Moths.


Title: Butterflies and Moths 
Author: Nic Bishop  
Illustrator: Nic Bishop 
Publisher: Scholastic Nonfiction 
Publication Date: March, 2009 
Genre/Format: Expository Non-Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: Award-winning author and photographer Nic Bishop brings his vast knowledge of biology to this eye-catching exploration of butterflies and moths. With breathtaking full-page images, Nic introduces young readers to the beauty and diversity of these amazing insects, from the shockingly bright blue morpho butterfly to the nearly transparent glasswing butterfly to the mouthless luna moth. The simple, engaging text presents both basic information and fun, quirky facts about the insects' appearance, habits, and life cycle--including a double gatefold spread of a butterfly in flight.  
What I Think: I've only been introduced to Nic Bishop's amazing non-fiction texts recently (all thanks to Choice Literacy's Heather Radar!) but I'm completely in love. Last school, I started to focus on building up the non-fiction texts in my library to share with students, I would have used all of my money to buy every Nic Bishop text out there if I was aware of his books at the time. His photographs are phenomenal but the text is just as remarkable, telling a story that weaves its way throughout the entire book. I especially love this book because it does compares and contrasts butterflies and moths. I am not a science girl...and I avoided biology at all costs for as long as I could. I only took one biology class and it wasn't until I was in college. I squeaked by in high school by taking earth science, geology, and chemistry. If anything, I should call myself a reluctant reader when it comes to expository non-fiction about animals. My son brings home non-fiction text from his school library week after week and some of the non-fiction texts makes me groan, it's hard to share a read aloud of these texts while cuddling in bed (we do it, but I always make sure I get to pick my own fiction picture book, too...). I have never groaned while reading a Nic Bishop book though and this book does not disappoint.
     When it comes to non-fiction text, I believe authors get it right when they find the most extraordinary things about animals and bring those things to life for kids. Nic Bishop definitely shares facts about butterflies and moths and their defenses that I had never known before. He might have titled this books, "Butterflies and Moths: More than Majestic Monarchs and Mothball Eaters" because he clearly took seemingly simple creatures and showed how fascinating they are. I'm listing this book and Velma (together or indepenently) as books that are appropriate for kindergarten all the way through high school. I strong believe that there is something students can learn by looking closely at these texts at any grade level.
Read Together: Grades K - 12
Read Alone: Grades K - 12 
Read With: Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly by Alan Madison, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, other non-fiction text about the life cycle of butterflies and moths 
Snatch of Text: "There is no mistaking a butterfly. Its colorful wings skip in the air like petals blown by the wind." p. 5
"Butterflies outfox birds with their helter-skelter flight." p. 40
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections 
Writing Strategies to Practice: Expository, Compare and Contrast, Descriptive  
Writing Prompts: Write about how this book changed your perception of moths and butterflies. Compare and contrast what you knew about butterflies and/or moths before reading this book and then after reading this book.  
Topics Covered: Integration - Science, Butterflies, Moths, Animals
I *heart* It:

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