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From small hidden eggs to creeping, fuzzy caterpillars to silky, transparent cocoons to bold, beautiful butterflies, Lois Elhert reveals nature's miraculous transformation in Waiting for Wings. The dramatic collages, drenched in vibrant color, are creatively arranged on uniquely shaped pages. The layout adds to the fun and sense of wonder, as each page grows in size, ultimately revealing the coming of spring and with it, the full-grown butterfly. The simple, rhyming text provides children and adults alike a glimpse into the life cycle of four common butterflies.
From the very first page, Waiting for Wings challenges children to explore the art for tiny eggs clinging to leaves with "butterfly glue." Next, the differing shapes and colors of caterpillars chomp leaves (actual holes in the pages!) as they crawl across the flora, searching for safe, out-of-the-way places to make cocoons. There, tiny bodies and wings grow and wiggle inside the caterpillar cases as the pages themselves appear to bloom with color.
Spring has finally arrived! Butterflies "pump their wings," "unroll their tongues" and begin "dipping and sipping." Finally, they flutter across the fields, ready to lay eggs and start the whole process all over again.
Eye-catching art, imaginative design and descriptive text are not the only reasons children and adults will be anxious to read this book again and again. The last few pages reveal detailed descriptions of each caterpillar, butterfly and flower pictured throughout the book. It also provides a Butterfly Information page that labels specific body parts of the insect, explains how it begins life and how it eats. The last page offers ideas on growing your own butterfly garden. Imagine the fun parents and children can share on a sunny day, exploring their own garden while identifying the caterpillars, butterflies and flowers found there!
This isn't the first time Lois Ehlert has created an eye-popper. She also wrote and illustrated Hands, the visually enchanting, hand-shaped book about a child's delight in helping Mom and Dad. Another don't-miss is her Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf, brimming with color and information on the life cycle of a sugar maple. But for now, as the days grow longer, celebrate the arrival of spring (and butterflies) with Waiting for Wings.