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Book Review: Dazzling Dragonflies

Dazzling Dragonflies by Linda Glaser introduces young readers to the life cycle of a dragonfly beginning with mama dragonfly as she lays a clutch of eggs that hatch into little nymphs. The nymphs eat, grow, shed their skin, and finally emerge from the water, shed their skin one last time, display their wings and start the cycle anew. The author adds a story line to the life cycle including a hungry fish that causes the little nymph to whisk away quickly, and a small fish that the hungry nymph grabs with its toothy lip. Glaser uses the several moltings of the nymph to build suspense for the appearance of wings and the first flight by the adult dragonfly. The flight of a dragonfly is one of its most endearing qualities and Glaser describes it rich detail. She goes on to tell about its remarkable eyesight and ability to catch prey in midair. The story closes as dragonfly partners spark new life and mama dragonfly lays her clutch of eggs. Three pages of questions and answers help adults extend the learning process with information such topics as different kinds of dragonflies, dragonflies’ place in the food chain, and prehistoric dragonflies.

The text is written in an easy to read style with a light musical quality that matches the action of the dragonflies in the story. The watercolor illustrations focus on the dragonfly and are done in soft colors of blue, green, and brown with accents of bright yellow and red giving an aqueous feeling throughout. Dazzling Dragonflies captures the beauty and uniqueness of these charming insects and is an excellent introduction to the topic for children from five to seven.

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