I remember first reading AN EGG IS QUIET to our boys and loving the gorgeous illustrations and lyrical rhythm of the words that also taught them about various eggs in nature, their outer shell, and the babies that were born from the eggs. In the years since, I have heard this series is popular among homeschool families and have seen the books in elementary classrooms. The seventh and final book in the series has just been published, A SHELL IS COZY, and I truly love this whole series. I think my favorite is A BUTTERLY IS PATIENT, but they are all wonderful.


By: Dianna Hutts Aston

Illustrated by: Sylvia Long

Published: Originally April 5, 2016 – Paperback May 9, 2023

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


Now available in paperback, kids can learn all about the life of a beetle. Check the underside of a leaf and you may just find a beetle egg. Quickly it transforms from a larva to a pupa to a beetle. Most beetles are brown or black but some are shimmery and iridescent. Some beetles are large and some are tiny. Would you consider eating a beetle? In some countries, beetles are even eaten regularly by humans.

I had no idea there were so many varieties of beetles. Some dig into the ground while others skitter across the ground, hop, or swim. When I think of beetles, I think of the ladybug that eats aphids to protect our plants but I also think of the boll weevil that is known for destroying the farmers’ crops such as corn, wheat, and cotton.

If anyone can make learning about beetles interesting, it’s Diana Hutts Aston. Long’s illustrations are spectacular and make beetles look like beautiful creatures. Beetles are found on every continent except Antarctica. The end of the book shows illustrations of nearly 30 beetles. This summer would be the perfect time to explore your yard and gardens for beetles and other unique insects.


By: Dianna Hutts Aston

Illustrated by: Sylvia Long

Published: May 9, 2023

Publisher: Chronicle Kids


When I’m on the beach, one of my favorite things to do is search for shells. I’m always on the lookout for ones that are unique or extra pretty. But, I don’t usually think about the life the shell had before washing up on the shore.

Shells have a very important job of protecting the animal inside. No matter the shape and size of the shell, its job is to float through the water and protect the mollusk from stones, coral reefs, and even predatory fish. Once it lands on the shore, it can become a protective home for a new inhabitant, like a hermit crab.

Shells have been around forever and were even used as currency, tools, and fishing hooks. The team of Diana Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long have made learning fun with lyrical writing and amazing illustrations of all kinds of stunning shells. The next time you find a beautiful shell, think about the life it led before you chose to pick it up and add it to your collection.

Dianna Hutts Aston has written many bestselling children’s books inspired by her awe for the wonders of nature. She lives in the Texas Hill Country, where she is a student of wildflower seed harvesting and viticulture, a caregiver, and a chauffeur. Check out her website, HERE.

Sylvia Long is the illustrator of many award-winning books for children that have sold more than 2.5 million copies. Her detailed paintings are inspired by her love of animals and the outdoors. She lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. Visit her website, HERE.

To purchase a copy of A BEETLE IS SHY and A SHELL IS COZY, click the photo below:

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Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of these books for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to make a purchase through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.
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  1. Dianna Aston on July 10, 2023 at 10:13 pm

    Thank you so much, Stacie, for this wonderful review. I will put a link to it on my site. Yes, homeschoolers enjoy the books, which is gratifying because I am such a proponent of learning this way. I love talking to children virtually. Thanks again and happy summer reading! 💚

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