Kathleen Reilly has written several books for Nomad Press, including Planet Earth: 25 Environmental Projects You Can Build Yourself; The Human Body: 25 Fantastic Projects Illuminate How the Body Works; Explore Weather and Climate! with 25 Projects; and Natural Disasters: Investigate Earth's Most Destructive Forces with 25 Projects. She is an award-winning author of several other science books for kids and is a contributor to dozens of publications, including Better Homes & Gardens, Family Circle, Family Fun, National Geographic Kids, and Parents. Kate lives in Raleigh, NC. Bryan Stone is a cartoonist who graduated from the Center for Cartoon Studies and is the illustrator of Explore Life Cycles!, Explore Night Science!, Explore Rivers and Ponds!, Explore Rocks and Minerals!, Explore the Solar System!, and Explore Transportation!. He lives in Hartland, Vermont.
Library Media Connection "This book is a great tool for elementary and middle school teachers. Each chapter discusses a life cycle, has Words to Know, and a sidebar called Did You Know? The chapters simply discuss ideas with vocabulary words set out in bold print. The chapters have fun recipes for snacks and suggestions for projects. The b&w illustrations are simple but support and enhance the text. This book was enjoyable to read, and I wanted to go find some children and try some of the experiments with them. Science teachers and anyone interested in science will find it a fun book to work with. Recommended" Science Books and Films "As its title suggests, this book explores life cycles in organisms ranging from fungi to humans. Its six chapters treat multiple topics, including the continuity of life across generations, scientific classification, birth in invertebrates, germination in plants, growth, metamorphosis, decay, and environmental disruption. Children ages 6-10, especially those with a science bent, will respond to this title's kid-friendly layout. The book has the look and feel of a coloring book; it is meant to be marked up and personalized. Its many quirky factoids will appeal to young science buffs, and the rapidly paced shift from background information to hands-on activities combats the boredom factor. This book is good for parents when kids complain, 'I don't have anything to do.'" Children's Literature "There's no distance between Ms Reilly's text and the kids she is addressing. She pulls them in with questions at the beginning of each chapter, questions that they can relate to: "Can you remember when you were younger? You were smaller, sure. And you probably couldn't do many things that you can do now. Maybe you couldn't ride a two-wheeler yet, or write a thank-you note card, or climb the monkey bars at the playground." She holds their attention by comparing the familiar to less familiar lives of plants and animals that the readers may not know about yet. Finally, she offers engaging activities that solidify the ideas presented. In addition to an overview of life cycles, her topics include: the systems of classification; how babies (including seedlings) enter the world; how all of these organisms grow to maturity; and threats to life cycles. Early science books don't get too much better than this. This book will be welcomed by teachers as students study life cycles in their classroom as well as by parents who may have fun with the activities, including Insect Life Cycle Snack Mix, a Mealworm Nursery, and tree measuring, done from the ground. Illustrations provide humor, and fun facts are offered throughout the book. Learning Magazine Resources for Successful Teaching has included Explore Life Cycles! in their back-to-school resource guide. "An eye-catching combination of cartoons, facts, and projects helps children learn about the changes plants and animals experience throughout their lives. Activities in the book--such as growing topsy-turvy plants and making a mealworm nursery--bring the mysteries of life right into your classroom!"