Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Eliza and the Dragonfly

Eliza and the Dragonfly by Susie Caldwell Rinehart; illustrated by Anisa Claire Hovemann
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Dawn Publications (CA) (March 2004)

When a dragonfly lands on Eliza’s toothbrush, she and her Aunt Doris, an entomologist, release it at a nearby pond. It is here they discover a green dragonfly nymph in the pond. Eliza’s first reaction is “ewwwwwwww,” but when Aunt Doris only replies with “Magnificent,” and tells her more about dragonflies, Eliza soon changes her tune. She names the nymph Horace and visits him every day after school. She draws him and talks to him. Her friends Carlos and Annie teach him Spanish and play music to him as they await for him to hatch.

Along the way, we learn interesting facts about dragonflies. For example, “Horace has a gift: a lower lip, five times the size of his head with giant hooks on the end. It tucks away neatly until a small insect swims by. Then it’s dinnertime!”

Then one day, Eliza and her friends get to see what they’ve all been waiting for: Horace hatches into a beautiful green dragonfly.

Through this engaging story, Rinehart teaches children about the lifecycle of a dragonfly and helps them develop an appreciation for insects and nature’s creatures. You’re never overwhelmed with facts, and kids may not even realize they’re learning. Anisa Claire Hovemann’s soft watercolor illustrations resemble ripples in a pond and set the tone for a warmhearted story.

The back of the book includes more information about the lifecycle of a dragonfly and a list of resources to learn more about dragonflies. It may even inspire some young explorers to go out and discover what’s hiding in their backyard.

This would make a nice read for kids, especially ones who are interested in dragonflies, insects, and nature.


  1. This sounds like a lovely book. We already have several from Dawn Publications, so I'm sure that Eliza and the Dragonfly would be up to their usual high standards. And once it warms up, it would also be useful to help teach my daughter the difference btw. friendly dragonflies and not-so-friendly wasps!

  2. Jenny,
    Funny...your comment made me realize just how much I have to teach my 10-month old. And I thought hot vs. cold would be a big challenge!

  3. My kid absolutely loved this book, she read it in one day, I never before saw that she did that.

  4. Awesome book! it reminds me the one that Madonna writes a few years ago.