Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly

Written by Alan Madison
Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
Most enjoyed by Kindergartners through 3rd Graders

Velma is starting first grade and she wants to make her mark. Everyone remembers her two big sisters for all of the special things they did, like singing beautifully and running very fast. Velma tries to draw attention to herself but her choices get her into a little trouble. Velma is thrilled when Mr. Plexipuss begins a science unit on butterflies. Could learning about butterflies be the very thing to make Velma special? When the class takes a field trip to the Butterfly Conservatory, Velma is able to put her butterfly knowledge to work in a way everyone is sure to remember.

I love Velma's spunk. Here's a first grader who has such enthusiasm it could be contagious. She plunges into learning about butterflies with gusto. You almost get the feeling that she'd have the same excitement even if she were studying slugs. Author Alan Madison has perfectly captured that single-mindedness many youngsters have about their favorite subjects.

Add 'Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly' to a science unit on butterflies or as a family read-aloud before going to a butterfly conservatory. The various caterpillars and butterflies depicted on the book's end papers will give you lots of species to watch for. How many of them can be found here where we live?

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