The butterfly and the ants by Kate McCabe. Illus. by Nicole Berlach

cover image

The life cycle of the butterfly is a very popular topic for early years students. This appealing new release, The Butterfly and the Ants, tells this captivating story in wonderful detail from tiny holes appearing in the leaves of plants to the spreading of pollen to make seeds for the next generation of caterpillars. The author introduces the reader to the role ants play in the life of the caterpillar, who in the story is called Blue. These attendants create a nest close to where Blue hatched and protect him in the nest during the day and guide him out at night to feed. These ants keep away other insects and spiders as Blue feeds, and they clean him. While they are cleaning Blue they are feeding on the honey he secretes from a gland on his back. This relationship between Blue and the ants is known as symbiosis. The book goes on to share information about Blue’s growth and turning into a chrysalis. The detailed explanation of what is happening during metamorphosis is quite fascinating and will intrigue younger readers. Finally Blue turns into a butterfly and the cycle of life will begin again. In the final pages are more facts about Blue and the butterflies he is related to as well as a glossary.

This book, with its colourful and appealing illustrations, will be a fabulous resource for schools and public libraries. Teacher's notes are available.

Themes: Butterflies, Caterpillars, Symbiosis, Nature, Life Cycles.

Kathryn Beilby