Flowers are calling a little black bear.
No, not a bear! He doesn’t care.
They’re calling a butterfly to dip from the air.
Flowers call a bumblebee, a hummingbird. Each creature, it turns out, answers to a different flower. For the bee it’s Monkshood. For the butterfly, Queen Anne’s Lace. The hummingbird uses his long tongue to sip nectar from brilliant red tubular flowers.
Author Rita Gray introduces us to three nectar-sipping, pollen-collecting critters at a time. Then she introduces us to the flowers they pollinate. There’s a lot of diversity amongst these animals: insect, mammal, bird… daytime feeders, night feeders. And the illustrations are very nice.
What I really like is that after introducing us to a dozen flower/animal pairs, she challenges us to look at flowers more closely. Look at their shape, color, and pattern. Observe how they smell, and when they open. Flowers have different strategies to make sure they connect with their special pollinators. Some plants give off heat to tempt an insect into staying there on a chilly night. Other flowers have ultraviolet designs that are visible only to certain pollinators. The designs help guide the pollinators to nectar. Oh, and did I mention the illustrations?
For more, check out hands-on book-related activities over at Archimedes Notebook.
It’s STEM Friday! (STEM is Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)
Copyright © 2015 Sue Heavenrich All Rights Reserved.