Tag Archives: illustration

What’s Going On In There?

This summer, our library presented its annual children’s summer reading program. After reading for 10, 15, and 25 hours, children could win prizes such as passes to a local water park or ice skating rink, free ice cream from Chick-fil-A, and more. Although it didn’t sound like a lot of time, we got a late start, and those first 10 hours of picture books for my youngest added up to about 80 books we had to read! Every time we went to the library, I felt as if I was clearing a lot of their shelf space. 🙂 While I tried to find books we hadn’t read before, I came across some favorites as well, on of which was What’s Going On In There? By Geoffrey Grahn.

In this book, things are not always as they appear. In each double-page spread, the pages on the left are used for the text, and the pages on the right for the illustrations. There you’ll find a building with windows, with a silhouette of a person, animal, or object in each window. The fun, then, is to guess what’s going on — to guess what the people or animals are doing. With a turn of the page, the reader discovers what’s really going on, and it’s usually not what you were thinking.  What looks like people pulling saltwater taffy is really astronauts preparing to launch their rocket; what appears to be students taking a test is actually a swimming class.

This book is a fun one for all ages. Younger children (and parents!) will be surprised by the revelations, and older children will have fun guessing. The author/illustrator has even provided the reader with some clues: look closely at the outside of the buildings where you see the silhouettes for hints of what’s inside.

As I Watch

As I Watch is another picture book I’ve had the privilege of illustrating. Written by Chitra Sounder and published by Guardian Angel Publishing, this simple yet beautiful book describes the life-cycle of a butterfly.

Designed especially for the youngest readers, As I Watch follows the development of the insect from egg, to larva, to caterpillar, to chrysalis, to butterfly and back to egg again. It’s a great starting point for a unit study about butterflies or insects in general. The illustrations are done in oils and realistically depict the tiger swallowtail butterfly.

If you have young children and are interested in doing a unit study on butterflies, here are some other online resources you might find helpful:

EnchantedLearning.com – This site has so much information for young butterfly enthusiasts! While you may need to pay a small membership fee to access all of the worksheets, it’s well-worth it. They’ve even organized all of the information into a hypertext book, covering topics such as butterflies and moths, defense mechanisms, classification, butterfly gardens, and butterfly anatomy. You’ll also find printouts featuring the lifecycle.

ParentingOurKids.com – Among many other resources, this site also offers butterfly lesson plans. Some of these are complete lessons in themselves, while others are links to worksheets and puzzles. All would be good additions to your unit study!

TheHealthyHomeschool.com – Here you’ll find all you need to know about how to plant your own butterfly garden.

Glorious-Butterfly.com –  – While this site isn’t particularly a schooling site, you’ll find some great ideas for butterfly study here as well. The lesson plans focus on the monarch butterfly, its development, and migration.

InsectLore.com –  This site sells the life cycle kits for various insects, including butterflies. For about $20.00 you can get a kit with a coupon for live caterpillars.

Enjoy a butterfly study with your children — and watch the wonder of nature together!