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WAIT—AND SEE by Helen Frost


by Helen Frost ; illustrated by Rick Lieder

Pub Date: May 10th, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-5362-1631-8
Publisher: Candlewick

An invitation to embody the attributes of a praying mantis: stillness, awareness, patience, calm, and focus.

Frost and Lieder continue their collaboration with a paean to the fascinating creature that is the Chinese praying mantis. The book invites readers to sharpen their observation skills in order to appreciate the marvels of the elusive little creature. Noting that praying mantises can be brown or green, the text urges children to emulate the insect’s composure and patience: “It can wait a long time, / staring straight / at you. / Can you wait a long / time too?” Budding entomologists must “be still and quiet” and “keep watching” if they want to witness a praying mantis hunting, eating, and even being born. Frost’s rhyming text scans fairly well and draws readers into the experience of standing in the presence of this awe-inspiring arthropod. Lieder uses macro photography techniques to capture detailed, close-up, stunning views of the insect as it perches on various flowers, snatches prey with its sharp spines, and hangs upside down on a leaf. Children will undoubtedly feel compelled to make up fun stories for these personality-filled creepy-crawlies. Of particular note is a crystal-clear photo of praying mantis nymphs emerging from their cocoon. A closing author’s note describes the life cycle of praying mantises.

A reminder of the wonders we can see in nature if we slow down and pay attention.

(Informational picture book. 3-7)