Caterpillar and Bean

This new picturebook is the fourth in Walker’s Science Storybook series. Described as a ‘science storybook about growing’, it introduces the life cycle of the bean plant and the butterfly to very young readers. The main text and illustrations describe the life cycles in a storytelling format; additional facts are provided in the form of smaller text hidden within the illustrations.

The illustrations are beautiful even though at times they lack a focal point, requiring the reader to point to the relevant section of the picture. The earthy colour palette and matte finish to the pages are pleasing to the eye, and fit perfectly with the theme of the book.

The text and illustrations jump between the bean plant and caterpillar life cycles, which hinders the flow of the story. The text also jumps between rhyming and non-rhyming, making it slightly awkward as a read aloud. However, the use of enlarged text for the keyword on each page is very helpful. The use of questions in the text encourages the child to respond and interact.

The final two pages of the book provide instructions on how to grow your own bean plant and an index of keywords, respectively. These are helpful and enhance the strength of the book as a learning resource. As a result, this book could provide an excellent accompaniment to pre-school or very early primary school nature projects.