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Product Review

The Story of Chester, the Monarch Caterpillar/Larva
by Susie Vanderlip

Price at time of review: $13.99
30 pp.
Intuitive Wisdom Publications
Orange, CA
ISBN: 9781941109038

Grade Level: K-5
Reviewed by Eloise Farmer
science consultant

This 30 page paperback book, also available as an eBook and DVD, is in its 2nd edition, and has won awards as a multi–media eBook. According to the description on the cover, it is intended for children aged 3–9, as well as PreK through 2nd grade curriculum. The book contains a series of excellent photographs detailing the life cycle of a monarch butterfly, accurately describing each stage in detail.

The reader and the listener are encouraged throughout to add milkweed to their gardens to provide food for the monarch caterpillars. Caterpillar predators and defenses are described, and mention is made of the deterrent of bitter taste to some predators. Like many books for the very young, the caterpillar’s life is anthropomorphized, and human emotions are ascribed to the caterpillar. The educational value of the photographic record that illustrates the life cycle of the caterpillar are undeniable. However, it should be emphasized that the attribution of human emotions and consciousness to the caterpillar is fictional if it is to be used as a part of the science curriculum.

Review posted on 12/16/2016