When studying flying creatures we often break things down into individual insects (At some point I should make a Flying Creatures Unit landing page). We look at ants (ants are included in flying creatures because they do fly briefly when forming new colonies, and because it would be weird to have one solitary insect over with the land animals) or butterflies, but it’s also helpful to just have an insects booklist for when you just have a generic insect unit. This is also the “letter i” word for My Father’s World Kindergarten. Which gets me one step closer to my Ultimate booklists for all the homeschooling.
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Explaining how my booklists work
As I was putting this together I realized this could be useful to explain how I create my booklists and my thought process behind sharing them.
When it comes to nonfiction books, I recognize your library may not have the same books as mine, but this gives you an idea of what types of books to look for. Or particular nonfiction authors that are particularly good.
But, for fiction, I’ll frequently add in books that are not at my library but that I hunted down at bookstores because it is particularly good book. That’s true of this insect booklist, as I was putting this together, I realized there were a few books I didn’t grab from the library, that would be great to add in to this list, that I had bought or used previously. This does mean they are not on my printable booklist because my printable insect booklist is created from my list of books I’m looking up at the library.
So, that’s how I get my super unique booklists.
The Official My Father’s World I is for Insect book
Before I forget, this is the official book listed there: How to Hide a Butterfly and Other Insects– a great book by Ruth Heller, that sadly was checked out when I went to get my books.
Nonfiction Insect Books
I did not take all of the insect books at my library, instead, I focused on trying to get different types of books from the library, as I tell you about each book, I’ll point out why I grabbed this particular book.
- Bugs, Beetles, and Butterflies– A very simple rhyming reader, short on facts but something a first grader can read.
- Good trick, Walking Stick– This book has a story following the growth of walking sticks from egg to adulthood, but it also has secondary information giving more information that can be completely skipped. Perfect for a slightly older kid reading with a younger sibling. The older sibling can get more information, and the younger sibling can get the main storyline.
- Insects Grow and Change– This book follows different insects that go through metamorphosis to change. The book does this for several different insects. There were several of this type at the library, but I like this particular one because it has pictures of the stages and not illustrations.
- A Noisy Bug Sing-Along– This focuses on the noises insects make. This would pair perfectly with a nature walk in a forest as you silently walk listening for animals.
- Ant, Ant, Ant! (An Insect Chant)– The main appeal of this book for me is the illustrations, they’re vibrant and full of character. The author figured out how to turn insect names into a rhythmic chant. It could be great for a writing lesson
- Fireflies at Midnight– A collection of poems about different animals with many about insects, always good to expose kids to poetry if you can.
Fiction Insect Books
I will admit some of these books may not be particularly great, but I really liked them
- Fancy Nancy Explorer Extraordinaire!-I remember The Artist having this book as a kid, and I loved the great vocabulary in it, an the fun illustrations
- Bugs Galore– A simple rhyming book with fun illustrations, if you can’t get this the world won’t end, but it’s cute and flows well off the tongue
- Dot and Jabber and the Big Bug Mystery– These are now labeled as Level 2 Readers, which has me a little sad because to fit that style of book, they’ve truncated some of the illustrations (my library copy is not labeled as the reader, but has the same text)
- Pond walk– A young bear and his Mom go on a walk around a pond and observe the nature they find, including many insects
- The Very Quiet Cricket– Another book that also has a leveled reader version with the same text, if possible get the original version, because then when you get to the end and turn the page, the book makes the chirping sound of the cricket, which the level reader does not do.
- The Very Busy Spider– Yes, spiders are not insects, and I only include this because it’s part of the unofficial “Eric Carle multiverse,” but it could be a great discussion with young kids of the difference between arachnids and insects.
- The Very Lonely Firefly– I think only the boardbook and the hardcover will have the lights included, again my library had the leveled reader version
- The Grouchy Ladybug– My kids loved this book so much in preschool that when my husband got home from work and they asked to read it, I would hand him the book and leave the room. I was that tired of the book
- The Very Hunger Caterpillar– And the final book in the “Very series,” I know technically the Ladybug is not a VERY Grouchy Ladybug, but I still in my head think of it that way. Either way, another great book that you can design a whole unit around.
- Ace Lacewing Bug Detective– an insect mystery written in the style of film noir detective stories, so interesting book to read and lots of puns, so many puns
- Crickwing– This is an amazing story, and the word choice, the illustrations are all spot on, highly recommend. I love Janell Cannon books
- Pest Fest– a fun book with lots of wordplay
- Mr. Mosquito Put on his Tuxedo– another cute little story if you can find it, and amazingly makes mosquitoes slightly more sympathetic
- Two Bad Ants– A great picture book from Chris Van Allsburg, following (two ants) that decide to head off and have fun and thus become, Two Bad Ants.
There you go, my insect booklist.
More insect learning fun
All of our insect learning was back when the kids were super young, like first grade, so let me see what other stuff I can find.