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Children's Fiction Butterflies, Moths & Caterpillars


by (author) Dave Cameron

illustrated by David Huyck

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2021
Butterflies, Moths & Caterpillars, General, Insects, Spiders, etc.
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2021
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 7
  • Grade: p to 2
  • Reading age: 4 to 7


A mix of humor and fact keep the interest high in this creative take on the ever-popular subject of metamorphosis, in which a curious --- and inventive --- old caterpillar has an unusual technique for transforming into a moth.

Gramma Tinker is an old, old caterpillar who lives at the end of a cherry tree branch. Leaf and Lou, ant friends who live and work nearby, like to visit her to hear about her latest inventions. One day, Gramma Tinker shows the friends what she calls her greatest invention yet: the Wingmaker 77. Gramma is busy preparing for an upcoming adventure, and Leaf and Lou can't imagine what it might be --- especially when Gramma mysteriously explains that she'll rest inside the Wingmaker for two weeks, and when she emerges she'll be “changed.” Leaf and Lou don't understand. Why does Gramma Tinker need to make wings? And why is she studying flying creatures to learn about flight? What's going on with Gramma Tinker?

In this fun, unconventional picture book on the subject of metamorphosis, award-winning magazine writer Dave Cameron stokes children's imaginations about one of nature's wonders. Award-winning illustrator David Huyck's playful imagery of the cheerful and enterprising caterpillar adds to the appeal. The story highlights an intergenerational relationship, featuring a strong older character with an intense scientific curiosity and who delights in inventing. The final page explains the science behind the real Gramma Tinker: a tent caterpillar who lives about 77 days before making its cocoon and emerging two weeks later as a lappet moth. This is a great choice to add levity to life science lessons on growth and changes in animals, and also on the idea of being an inventor.

About the authors

Dave Cameron is often able to sleep soundly on interstate buses and in airport departure lounges. This wasn’t always the case. At the age of 18, he sat up for 70 hours on the train from Toronto to Vancouver. He arrived smelly and exhausted, but also having discovered that movement alone is a fix – even if temporary – for restlessness.Dave grew up in Maple, Ontario, and studied magazine journalism at Ryerson University. A freelance writer, his work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, The Ottawa Citizen, and Cottage Life magazine, among other publications. He also worked for a time as a weekly newspaper reporter in Kincardine, Ontario. But the stories he likes best are those found by accident. (Or those that are somehow accidental: he can, for example, tell a Techni-colourful tale about the time he got food poisoning in Nepal.)Dave has lived in Vancouver, Toronto, and Halifax, and has travelled in Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Dave Cameron's profile page

Raised near Chicago, David grew up half a block from the candy store in one direction, and half a block from the playground in the other. Along with a limitless supply of Legos, cartoons and all genres of books, the resulting high-fructose queasiness is the point source for everything he has made ever since.

David Huyck's profile page

Editorial Reviews

A good-hearted picture book with an unusual, fictional take on metamorphosis.

Kirkus Reviews

... an intriguing take around the metamorphosis of the eastern tent caterpillar ...

CM Magazine

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Other titles by David Huyck

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