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Caroline Arnold's Books

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In 4 weeks, there will be butterflies in Room 6! Mrs. Best brought butterfly eggs to school. Tiny caterpillars hatched out of them. The kindergarteners gave the caterpillars food and watched them GROW...and GROW...and GROW....until finally they became chrysalises. Now butterflies are growing inside. The children watch and wait. When will the butterflies come out?

Follow a classroom of kindergartners as they participate in a popular activity: raising butterflies. This photo essay follows the process of metamorphosis from a tiny egg, to caterpillar, to chrysalis, and finally to the emergence of the adult butterfly. Children observe each stage up close as they learn firsthand about a butterfly's life cycle. Then, when the butterflies are a few days old, the children release them in the school garden.

Simple text and close-up photographs tell the story. Back matter includes answers to questions about butterflies, vocabulary, links to butterfles online and further reading about butterflies.

Raising butterflies from caterpillars is a popular project at home and in school, with supplies easily available on the internet or at many museums and nature centers. The book includes scientific information that is written at a level understandable to young children. It is ideal to use with STEM or STEAM curriculums.

Curriculum Links
  • Language Arts: comprehension strategy--compare and contrast, main idea/details strategy, cause and effect relationships
  • Science: Life science--animal growth and development

  • Children's Projects

    Raising Butterflies from Caterpillars:

    It is not hard to raise painted lady butterflies at home or in the classroom. You do not need to start with eggs. Most people raise butterflies from caterpillars. There are a number of sources on the internet where you can order painted lady caterpillars. The tiny caterpillars come in a plastic cup, a supply of food, and directions for care. It usually takes about three weeks for the caterpillars to grow, form a chrysalis, and transform into butterflies. If you find a painted lady caterpillar on a wild thistle plant or on a hollyhock leaf, you may also be able to watch it grow and transform into a butterfly by feeding it fresh leaves every day. The butterfly will emerge about 8-10 days after it forms the chrysalis.

    Time Line: How long does it take for a butterfly to grow? Make a time line of a butterfly's development from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to adult butterfly.

    Pasta and Paper Plate Butterfly Life Cycle:

    butterfly pasta

    You will need: A paper plate; 4 types of pasta: bulgar for eggs; ziti for the caterpillar; shells for the chrysalis; and bowties for the butterfly; glue; markers, paint or crayons

    Directions:Make an X across the paper plate to divide it into four sections. Label each section with a butterfly stage: egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly. Glue the appropriate pasta in each section. Draw or paint leaves. Color the pasta if desired.

    A Butterfly's Wings are Symmetrical: Paint your own large paper butterfly wings making the colors match on each side.

    butterfly symmetry
    Related Books by Caroline Arnold
  • In A Warmer World find out how Edith's checkerspot butterflies are impacted by climate change.
  • In Animals That Migrate learn about the migration of monarch butterflies.
  • Reviews
    Carolyn Phelan, Booklist, January 10, 2019

    In this attractive science book, writer and photographer Arnold presents the life cycle of a butterfly as observed in a Los Angeles kindergarten classroom. The teacher brings tiny painted lady butterfly eggs to school and places them in a box with food. As the eggs hatch, the caterpillars crawl, eat, and climb to the top of their containers, where they enter the pupal stage within chrysalises. Transferred to a large netwalled enclosure, they begin to emerge eight days later as butterflies. Outdoors, each one crawls onto a child’s finger, rests, and then flies away. Arnold comments on each step of caring for the animals, as well as each stage of their life cycle. Along the way, she provides just enough information and detail for young children who want to know more. It’s enlightening to observe the butterflies' stages of life in the clear, color photos, but it’s also a pleasure to see the children’s reactions: curiosity, caution, rapt attention, surprise, excitement, and joy. An appended page answers pertinent questions. An amiable, eye-opening introduction to metamorphosis.

    Kirkus, January 15, 2019

    Arnold revisits Mrs. Best's elementary classroom (Hatching Chicks in Room 6, 2017) for this look at the life cycle of the painted lady butterfly. Arnold uses the class's study of butterflies to present readers with solid facts about these insects in both the main text and leaf-shaped fact boxes. Mrs. Best's butterfly eggs come in a tube (she must have purchased them, though this is not addressed). The entire life cycle is both pictured and described in the next spread. The close-ups of the eggs in their different stages of hatching are sure to fascinate. On release day, each child gets to hold a butterfly that has crawled onto their hand. Though this book focuses on butterflies in a classroom, families could easily use this information to safely raise butterflies at home (several tips are given about keeping the insects alive and free from injury). The backmatter includes a page of answered questions about butterflies, a glossary, and a list of both online and text resources for finding further information. Arnold's photos are a highlight, combining candid shots of the diverse students and their white teacher with pics of the insects, both in captivity and in nature. Labeled close-ups bring readers into the classroom and teach butterfly anatomy. A solid look at the butterfly life cycle that will have students asking their own teachers to host caterpillars in their classrooms. (Informational picture book for ages 4-9)

    School Library Journal, March, 2019

    PreS-Gr 2. Arnold returns to the same classroom she observed in Hatching Chicks in Room 6 (Charlesbridge, 2017). This time she joins Mrs. Best and her kindergarten students as they follow the progress of painted lady butterflies from small blue eggs to adult insects. Photos document the steps required to care for the creatures during their journey from egg to larva to pupa to adult. The intent expressions on the children’s faces reveal their engagement with the process and their delight as they watch the butterflies prepare to fly away. The close-up photos, including the sequence of a butterfly’s emergence from the chrysalis, draw readers into the transformation. The clear, straightforward text is supplemented by facts supplied in small text boxes. A vocabulary list plus suggested books and websites enhance the information. VERDICT. A solid choice for most libraries, particularly those supporting hands-on science learning. Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State Univ. Lib., Mankato

    Book notes

    Several years ago, when I was doing an author visit at a school in Los Angeles, I met Jennifer Best, a kindergarten teacher. Each spring, her students learn about life cycles. Two years ago I spent time in her classroom while they were hatching chicken eggs in an incubator. That resulted in my book Hatching Chicks in Room 6. At the same time, the class was also raising Painted Lady butterflies from caterpillars, watching the caterpillars grow in a jar, turn into chrysalises, and, after a week or so, emerge as beautiful butterflies. It seemed like the perfect sequel to Hatching Chicks in Room 6.

    As with the book about chicks, I realized that the best way to tell this story was with photographs. I had taken photographs for some of my other books, so I decided to do it myself. I embedded myself in Jennifer Best’s classroom, which enabled me to follow the process and get the photos I needed. (A challenge in taking the photographs was that neither the children nor butterflies stayed still for long!) Spending so much time in the classroom also allowed me to interact with the kindergarten students, which helped me to target my text at the right level. The children’s enthusiasm was contagious as they learned about butterflies and had the thrill of releasing them outdoors and watch them fly into the neighborhood. I am extremely grateful to Jennifer Best for her cheerful cooperation in this project and for being my expert reader. I couldn’t have done this book without her.