What's Inside a Caterpillar Cocoon?: And Other Questions About Moths & Butterflies by Rachel Ignotofsky

Happy Monday from Syracuse, New York! I'm thrilled Rachel Ignotofsky stopped by Watch. Connect. Read. to finish my sentences! We discussed caterpillars, cocoons, science, birds, and more. I wrote the words in purple, and Rachel wrote the words in black. Thank you, Rachel! 

What's Inside a Caterpillar Cocoon?: And Other Questions About Moths & Butterflies is a book that was inspired by the biology in my own backyard!

I live right on the monarch butterfly migration route and seeing those butterflies lay hundreds of eggs in my milkweed garden was a real treat while creating this book. What's Inside a Caterpillar Cocoon? is part of a larger picture book series that answers the small questions kids have about nature and gives them the big answers they deserve. The other books in the series are What’s Inside a Flower?, and What’s Inside a Bird’s Nest? And each of these books can be read separately, but they also build upon each other. I noticed that these life cycles were being taught in elementary science curriculum. I wanted to make a book series that works in both a playful story-time setting and can be used by teachers directly into their science lesson plans.

Science is for everyone!

Scientific literacy is important whether or not you become a STEM professional. The first step to protecting our planet is understanding the science of how the natural world works. In this series of books I focus on nature and life science, and hopefully this will also inspire both parents and adults to want to further care for the environment. By nurturing the curiosity of our youngest readers, teaching them about natural resources, getting them to think critically—we are creating a generation of informed adults who aren’t afraid to ask questions!

Non-fiction picture books are a great way to use visuals to teach complex subjects!

I have a graphic design background so organizing all the information on the page is my favorite part as I draw and write the words simultaneously. A lot of the fun facts are woven into the drawings themselves. When you take the time to make dense information beautiful, you can reach a completely new audience and picture books are a fantastic vehicle for just that!

On March 5, 2024, the newest book in the series comes out, called What's Inside A Bird's Nest? : And Other Questions About Nature & Life Cycles.

In this book we follow the life cycle of a blue bird from an egg in a nest to a bird’s first flight— all while also talking about birds around the world and the important role that birds play in keeping our natural world in balance. This book is a celebration of science and springtime, and is my favorite book yet! The illustrations will really blow you away!

John Schu, you should have asked me: Do you have resources for teachers?

I absolutely do! Visit my website at rachelignotofskydesign.com for free worksheets and coloring pages that go along with each of my books!

Thank you, Rachel!

Borrow What's Inside a Caterpillar Cocoon?: And Other Questions About Moths & Butterflies from your school or public library. Whenever possible, support independent bookshops. 


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