Monarch! Come Play with Me incorporates my own experience as well the wisdom and insights of dozens of early education teachers I have worked with as they prepared to use monarch caterpillars in their classrooms. The words are simple, written for an early second grade reading skill and a young child’s approach to the world. The story relates the activities and changes in the caterpillar’s life to those of the child as it presents the monarch life cycle. The illustrations include imbedded photographs providing a wealth of additional visual information about the caterpillar and its metamorphosis to be discovered and investigated. The book can be used as a reference for a young child raising his/her own monarch. The child in the story models good interaction with the monarch. The story at the end of the book is an introduction to monarch science relating the discovery of the monarch overwintering grounds by scientists and citizen scientists. It is a read aloud informational text written at a fourth grade reading level.
Children can learn a lot about the world around them, and about themselves, by watching a monarch caterpillar grow. If you are working with young children who are experiencing the monarch life cycle for the first time, let their curiosity be the guide. Although some young children will love the fancy words and other information in this guide, it is intended primarily to inform adults so that they are comfortable answering questions for children exploring this book and monarch butterfly metamorphosis for themselves.