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Life Cycles

For this particular unit-related text set we have focused on life cycles, particularly the life cycles of animals. Often a unit on life cycles is taught with a heavy focus on one particular creature, perhaps mealworms, butterflies, or frogs. In searching for books related to life cycles we found that many books also focus on the life cycle of one particular animal. The first list was compiled to highlight the wide range of books written about the life cycles of very diverse creatures. In the second list of books we focused solely on butterflies and put together a set of titles which shows the wide range of books that might be available about the life cycle of any one particular creature. See http://www.umbc.edy/books/tech/cycles.html for a list of websites which complement these titles.

Adventures of Baby Bear by Aubrey Lang (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2002)
Wonderful color photographs are the highlight in this book which follows two baby bears in the early days and weeks of their young lives.
(See other Aubrey Lang titles from Fitzhenry & Whiteside in the Nature Babies series including Baby Penguin (2001), Baby Lion (2003), Baby Elephant (2003), Baby Fox (2002), Baby Sloth (2003), Baby Koala (2003), and Baby Seal (2002).)

All About Owls by Jim Arnosky (Scholastic, 1999)
This book features quality color illustrations is packed with information about owls.
(See these additional Jim Arnosky titles from Scholastic, All About Deer (2001), All About Turkeys (1998), All About Rattlesnakes (2002), All About Sharks (2003), All About Alligators (1994), and All About Turtles (2000).)

(The) Atlantic Salmon by Bianca Lavies (Penguin Putnam, 1992)
This in-depth look at the life cycle of the Atlantic salmon includes full-color photographs that show how the fish develop from eggs to adulthood.

Chicks & Chickens by Gail Gibbons (Holiday House, 2003)
The full color illustrations and labeled diagrams lead readers through the life cycle of a chicken.

Eaglet's World by Evelyn Minshull (Albert Whitman & Co., 2002)
This fictional tale recounts the story of one eaglet from birth to first flight.

Earthworms by Elaine Pascoe (Blackbirch Press, 1997)
Readers of this book will come away with a better understanding of these amazing creatures.

(A) Flamingo Chick Grows Up (Carolrhoda Books, 2002)
A timeline, photographs, and "More About" section add additional details to this look at Puck, a baby pink flamingo.
(Also see the following books by Joan Hewett in the Baby Animals series from Carolrhoda/Lerner--A Kangaroo Joey Grows Up (2001), A Tiger Cub Grows Up (2001), and A Harbor Seal Pup Grows Up (2001).)

Growing Up Wild: Penguins by Sandra Markle (Atheneum Books, 2002)
This colorful and informative photo-essay portrays the lives of growing penguin chicks.
(Growing Up Wild: Bears (2000) and Growing Up Wild: Wolves (2001) are also recommended. Both are by Markle and published by Atheneum.)

Life and Times of the Honeybee by Charles Micucci (Houghton Mifflin, 1995)
The life stages of the honeybee are among the topics covered in this comprehensive look at the honeybee.
(Also by Micucci, from Houghton Mifflin, The Life and Times of the Ant (2003).)

Life Cycles by Michael Elsohn Ross (Millbrook Press, 2001)
Ross tells the story of three very different forms of nature from their beginning of life to death to beginning again.

Life Cycles of a Dozen Diverse Creatures by Paul Fleisher (Millbrook Press, 1996)
In this book you can read about the life cycles of twelve different creatures including oysters, seahorses, and earthworms.

One Tiny Turtle by Nicola Davies (Candlewick Press, 2001)
Lush illustrations accompany this story's lyrical words, while smaller, sea-sculpted lines of text provide scientific information about the life cycle and behavior of loggerhead turtles.

Pepper's Journal: A Kitten's First Year by Stuart J. Murphy (HarperCollins, 2000)
Learn about the days, weeks, months, and years in the life of a kitten.

(A) Pill Bug's Life by John Himmelman (Children's Press, 1999)
Travel along with a little pill bug as it eats, grows, and hibernates. Watch her have her own babies and continue the life cycle.
(Also look for the following books by John Himmelman, also from Children's Press. An Earthworm's Life (2001), A Ladybug's Life (1998), A Luna Moth's Life (1998), A Slug's Life (1998), A House Spider's Life (2000), A Mealworm's Life (2001), A Hummingbird's Life (2000), A Salamander's Life (1998), and A Mouse's Life (2001).)


Becoming Butterflies by Anne Rockwell (Walker & Co., 2001)
Be amazed at the magical transformation as tiny, squirmy caterpillars one day turn into beautiful, fragile butterflies.

Butterflies Fly by Yvonne Winer (Charlesbridge Publishing, 2001)
Beautiful, realistic illustrations and poetic verse offer details about fifteen types of butterflies in this colorful tribute to these fascinating creatures.

Butterflies in the Garden by Carol Lerner (HarperCollins, 2002)
Full-color illustrations show the inside of flowers, butterfly anatomy, and the life cycle of the butterfly.

Creepy, Crawly Caterpillars by Margery Facklam (Little, Brown and Co., 1996)
In this book about thirteen common, and not so common, caterpillars each page tells all sorts of things about the caterpillar and its eventual adult form.

(An) Extraordinary Life: The Story of a Monarch Butterfly by Laurence Pringle (Scholastic, 1997)
This multiple award-winning book shows the life cycle of this incredible butterfly and takes readers on its migratory flight from Massachusetts to Mexico.

From Caterpillar to Butterfly by Deborah Heiligman (HarperCollins, 1996)
In this fictional story a classroom of students watch a caterpillar grow, form its cocoon, and eventually become a butterfly.

Magnificent Monarchs by Linda Glaser (Millbrook Press, 2000)
This story of a monarch butterfly's life begins with an egg on a milkweed leaf, continues with an emerging caterpillar, the formation of a chrysalis, and the metamorphosis into a monarch butterfly.

(A) Monarch Butterfly's Life by John Himmelman (Children's Press, 2000)
Attractive illustrations are a strength in this book which focuses on the life of a monarch butterfly from the time it is born until it gives birth.

Monarch Butterfly of Aster Way by Elizabeth Ring (Soundprints, 1999)
This book about the monarch butterfly skillfully weaves facts into an easy to read story.

Monarchs by Kathryn Lasky (Harcourt, 1993)
A group of children watch a bright yellow monarch butterfly emerge from a chrysalis and witness the start of its migratory flight south.

(A) New Butterfly: My First Look at Metamorphosis (Kids Can Press, 1997)
Experience the life cycle of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail through the eyes of a little girl.

Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert (Harcourt, 2001)
Imaginative illustrations and inventively cut pages make this a unique presentation of a butterfly's life.

Where Butterflies Grow by Joanne Ryder (Pearson Learning, 1996)
This colorful picture book includes a special section on how to observe a caterpillar's transformation to a butterfly and how to attract butterflies to your garden.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 9912078. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.