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What to Expect

It’s nearly spring, the birds are calling their spring calls already, getting ready for the baby-making season. I imagine that crocodilians, marsupials and insects have some analogous sounds or gestures that they do in preparation for parenting. Just in time, we have some important books in the Library to guide the new parents.

 What to expect when you’re expecting hatchlings, a guide for crocodilian parents (and curious kids)

What to expect when you’re expecting joeys, a guide for marsupial parents (and curious kids)

What to expect when you’re expecting larvae, a guide for insect parents (and curious kids)

by Bridget Heos, illustrated by Stephane Jorisch

“Congratulations, crocodilian parents-to-be! You have little ones on the way. They’re called hatchlings. Read this book to find out where to lay your eggs, how you’ll know when the babies are ready to hatch, and what you and your babies will do all day long. Whether you’re an alligator, caiman, crocodile, or even a funny-looking gharial, you’ll find answers to all your parenting questions here. But there’s one condition: don’t eat the book!”

This series of colorful books has a great way of introducing larger concepts while advising the crocodilian, insect or marsupial parents in a Q & A format: “Will anything eat my larvae?…Note to wood-boring beetles: Woodpeckers are not only noisy but also evil. They drill holes in trees, searching for your larvae. Then they eat the poor little things! Unfortunately this is all part of the food chain… assured that many of your babies will manage not to be eaten….they’ll live to enjoy meal after meal of delicious—and nutritious—wood.”

This is the kind of nonfiction that is fun to read aloud to a pre-reader, and still fun for an older reader.  The illustrations are just right to accompany the amusing text. In the back of each is a glossary and a list of great books and websites to reinforce the new ideas.


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