METAMORPHOSIS by Andrés Llamas Ruiz


Age Range: 8 - 11
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 First published in Spain, this entry from Llamas Ruiz (Seasons, p. 464) in the Cycles of Life series explores the concept and process of metamorphosis primarily through a focus on the growth and development of frogs, butterflies, and dragonflies. In a metamorphosis-made-easy approach, colorfully illustrated spreads cover courtship rituals, the laying of eggs, emergence from the eggs, and newly hatched creatures who are vastly different from their parents. The complete process can be viewed for tadpoles, caterpillars, and larvae of dragonflies, while moths, mosquitoes, flat fish, newts, and salamanders get passing coverage. A body of text explains each stage in general terms; captions are used for the details of particular creatures. While the presentation is attractive and eye-catching, the arrangement of material is choppy. In order to make parallel the stages and similarities of various animals that undergo metamorphosis, the step-by-step presentations of the individual frog, butterfly, and dragonfly are broken up; readers seeking information on a particular animal will have to jump back and forth. The layout is a bit confusing in places--captions aren't easily matched to the illustrations, and one--about butterflies mating--stops mid-word. Difficult words--amplexus, pheromones, ocelli, neoteny--are explained either in context or in a short glossary, but not consistently. Nevertheless, the dramatic transformations from larvae to insect or tadpole to frog will be of interest to budding biologists. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-8069-9325-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Sterling
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1997