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Eliza and the Dragonfly

Sharing Nature With Children's Books

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"Eliza and the Dragonfly"

Eliza and the Dragonfly is an award-winning children's book about nature and the life cycle of the dragonfly. While this is a children's nature book, it is written in the form a of a picture book story. Within the story, the author accurately covers the life cycle of a dragonfly and provides additional scientific information and resources related to dragonflies as well. Since this children's book is equally effective as a read alone and a read-aloud, I recommend it for 4-10 year olds.

The Story of Eliza and the Dragonfly

Some children love insects; others go, "Eeeeewwww!" and think they are disgusting. Aunt Doris is an entomologist who loves studying insects and feels they are all "MAGNIFICENT!" Her niece Eliza is not so sure.

When Eliza finds a dragonfly in her house, she takes it to Aunt Doris, who responds, "MAGNIFICENT!" The two take the dragonfly to the pond where, according to Aunt Doris, it belongs. Eliza's reaction to a young dragonfly (a dragonfly nymph) is "Eeeeewwww!" but to Aunt Doris it is "MAGNIFICENT!" Along with Aunt Doris, Eliza and her friends keep track of the dragonfly nymph as it grows. They learn about the life cycle of the dragonfly, which Eliza names "Horace."

When Horace hatches, Eliza and her friends realize how helpful dragonflies can be. The children are upset about all of the mosquitoes buzzing around and biting them. The mosquitoes quickly disappear when Horace appears and begins to eat them. By then, Eliza is convinced that the dragonfly is indeed "MAGNIFICENT!"

The Author and Illustrator of Eliza and the Dragonfly

This is Susie Caldwell Rinehart's first book. She was born in Toronto, Canada and presently lives in Vermont. Rinehart has degrees in both English and Science. According to her publisher, "Susie believes that the best kind of learning takes place on the edge between science and art."

Eliza and the Dragonfly is also artist Anisa Claire Hovemann's first book. She illustrated it while on leave as an undergraduate at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her full-page muted watercolors add greatly to the book's appeal.

Extras in Eliza and the Dragonfly

At the end of the book, there is a two-page illustrated section about dragonflies. It includes additional information about species of dragonflies, the life cycle of dragonflies, and natural history. Print and online resources are also provided.

The Publisher of Eliza and the Dragonfly

Eliza and the Dragonfly is one of many nature awareness books published by Dawn Publications. The publisher specializes in books about nature for children, nature awareness and sharing nature books for children. The company also publishes teacher guides for its books.

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