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Butterfly Eyes and Other Secrets of the Meadow

Last updated Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Author: Joyce Sidman
Illustrator: Beth Krommes
Date of Publication: 2006
ISBN: 061856313X
Grade Level: 3rd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Apr. 2021

Synopsis: Discover the hidden world of the meadow in this unique combination of poetry riddles and science wisdom. Beginning with the rising sun and ending with twilight, this book takes us on a tour through the fields, encouraging us to watch for a nest of rabbits, a foamy spittle bug, a leaping grasshopper, bright milkweed, a quick fox, and a cruising hawk.

Note to readers:
•  The layout of the text and images for this book is designed to be easily read as a physical book. To ensure you can easily enjoy the images and also easily read all of the text on Zoom, the text is repeated and enlarged for you in the pages that follow each of the beautiful, detailed images.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do you know about butterflies?
•  What do you think the secrets of the meadow are?
•  Do you like to observe nature when you are outside? Why or why not?


•  Vapor – tiny particles of a liquid or a solid in a gas.
•  Exoskeleton – an external supporting structure such as the shell of a crustacean (an animal with a hard jointed shell).
•  Predators – an animal that hunts another animal for food
•  Spume – foam or froth.
•  Phloem – the soft tissue in plants that contains tubes and other fibrous material used to conduct food. (pronounced "flow|em")

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What do you think the book is describing on the first 2 pages of the book?
•  What animal would you want to be in the meadow? Why?
•  Has anyone seen a caterpillar turn into a butterfly in person?
•  The Los Angeles County Natural History Museum has a butterfly pavilion that just opened to the public last week. Information is at

Craft ideas:
•  Using the Zoom whiteboard together with the kids, create a thank you card for the Water Buffalo Club, then take a screen shot of it and email it to! Reading to Kids received a special, three-year grant from the Water Buffalo Club and we would like to share our sincere thanks by sending them digital thank you cards designed by our reading club participants.

You can incorporate their logo by downloading it from Read about using the Zoom whiteboard in the last pages of our Zoom Training Guide. You can learn how to take a screenshot at
•  Draw a butterfly
•  Make a butterfly puppet out of a brown paper bag
•  Check our craft ideas on Pinterest!

Special activities:
•  Learn about the Monarch butterfly by watching this YouTube video:
•  Write their own poems about butterflies.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!