Teaching life cycles is a huge part of an elementary curriculum. The more engaging, factual books you can gather for your children at home or school, the better.
I believe you’re going to be very impressed with my current book choice. It’s one of the most gorgeous life cycle books I’ve ever come across.
Round and Round Goes Mother Nature: 48 Stories of Life Cycles Around the World
Written by Gabby Dawnay
Wide Eyed Editions (May 2, 2023)
Suitable for ages 6-10
This magical book describes 48 wondrous life cycles from mayflies, to squirting cucumbers, to volcanoes, and stars! It teaches children about nature and how our beautiful world is constantly changing and moving through predictable cycles.
Above the water, a shimmering cloud rises. The life of a mayfly is truly fleeting.
Why I Love This Book
I really appreciate the beautiful detail in both the text and illustrations. Every life cycle begins with an interesting, overall description and is then followed by numbered pictures and explanations for each step in the cycle. You can see what I mean below with the half page spread of the midwife toad.
My copy (thank you NetGalley) was digital so it was easy to zoom in and see even more detail.
When I think of life cycles I mostly focus on plants and animals. But in this book the author goes even further and adds a whole section called Earth, which includes the life cycles of storms, our four seasons, water, continents, volcanoes and more, plus another section on space. Astronomy buffs will really enjoy this one!
I personally enjoyed reading about all the various life cycles, but the two that stood out for me were the angler fish (let’s just say the male does NOT have a glamorous life) and the tiny naked mole-rat (I found their underground life to be fascinating).
I highly recommend this book and if I was still teaching I would rush out to buy it in a heart beat — it’s that good. I seriously think every classroom needs one.
Book Related Activities
⁕ Read even more life cycle books. There are lots of amazing ones out there and most can be found in your local library. One of my personal favourites is the Pumpkin Circle.
⁕ Raise some butterflies! This can easily be done with a butterfly kit. Many of the vendors include vouchers for purchasing live caterpillars. A note of warning: please don’t collect your own caterpillars to raise, because unless you know exactly which food they need to eat they likely won’t survive. Whereas when you purchase them they always come with the perfect food! You can see the larvae and food here.
⁕ You could make a life cycle hat. There are some really cute ones out there. Books and Giggles has a free flower hat you can make.
⁕ If you want to learn more about the life cycle of a star then be sure to visit Little Passports. They have a great page with some cool photos.
⁕ Just for fun and because naked mole-rats are so fascinating, I found this super cute play dough activity by Megan from Coffee Cups and Crayons. It goes along with Mo Willems’ book, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, and looks like lots of the fun for Kindergarten/Grade 1 set.
Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed this book review. Round and Round Goes Mother Nature will be released soon on May 2.
P.S. This post contains affiliate links.