Animal Life Cycles

These high interest books will spark student curiosity to learn more about these amazing animals.

A Butterfly is Patient.  Dianna Hutts Aston.  Chronicle Books, 2011.
An introduction to the life cycle and behaviors of one of nature’s most beautiful creatures.  Stunning watercolors. Picture Book.
Read-aloud 2nd-5th grade


Brilliant Bees.  Linda Glaser.  Millbrook Press, 2003.
A little girl observes honeybees and explains their life cycle.  The text is simple, clear, informative.  The color penciled drawings are very good.  Four pages of questions and detailed answers are at the end.  A good introduction.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade


About Crustaceans: A Guide for Children.  Cathryn Sill.  Peachtree, 2004.
A couple of simple, yet detailed sentences on the left page refer to the paintings on the right page which are so detailed they are almost photographic.  Students will learn about the anatomy, behavior and habitats of several crustaceans.  Backmatter gives more details about each painting.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade

Little Penguin: the Emperor of Antarctica.  Jonathan London.  Marshall Cavendish, 2011.
Simple text and vibrant illustrations tell the story of the first 5 months of an Emperor chick’s life from the chick’s point of view.  Good, basic life cycle information.  Appealing.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade

I am a Shark: The Life of a Hammerhead Shark.  Darlene R. Stille.  Picture Window Books, 2005
A good beginning look at the shark’s anatomy, use of 6 senses to hunt prey.  Not a complete life cycle book, but a good, high interest start.  Backmatter contains a diagram, glossary and a few more facts.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade


Ten Little Caterpillars.  Bill Martin, Jr.  Beach Lane Books, 2011.
Lois Ehlert’s signature colorful collage artwork brings this counting book to life.  Different types of caterpillars move through the garden scene.  Great verbs are used such as wriggled, sailed, carried.  Also a great science lesson as the 10th caterpillar hangs patiently until he emerges from the chrysalis.  The end includes a guide of each species as a caterpillar and the butterfly or moth they become.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-1st grade

What to Expect When You’re Expecting Joeys : A Guide for Marsupial Parents (and Curious Kids).  Bridget Heos.  Millbrook Pres.  2012.
Through a clever, humorous question and answer format seemingly directed toward marsupial parents, kids learn a great deal of fascinating facts.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud 1st-4th grade

Wiggling Worms at Work.  Wendy Pfeffer.  HarperCollins, 2004.
Everything you could want to know about worm habitats and life cycles.  Striking cut-paper collage illustrations, simple activities for finding out more.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-3rd grade

999 Tadpoles.  Ken Kimura.  NorthSouth, 2011.
It is time for proud Mother and Father Frog to take their 999 offspring to a bigger pond.  Their trip is long and hazardous.  Father is snatched by a hungry hawk.  Mother hangs onto Father and instructs all the children to follow suit.  Eventually the hawk can no longer keep hold of the heavy load and drops them where they fall into a large pond.  Simply told and illustrated with humor and drama.  Could tie into life cycles and food chains.  Picture Book.
Read-aloud K-2nd grade
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