Project Description

Leaf Litter Critters
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Teacher’s Guide
Author Q&A
Illustrator Q&A

Leaf Litter Critters

by Leslie Bulion
illustrated by Robert Meganck

Have fun on this poetic tour through the leaf litter layer and dig into the fascinating facts about the tiny critters who live there.

Nineteen poems in a variety of verse forms with accompanying science notes take readers on a decomposer safari through the “brown food web,” from bacteria through tardigrades and on to rove beetle predators. Glossary, hands-on investigations, and resources are included in the back matter.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-950-6
Publication Date: 3/1/2018
Page Count: 48
Size: 5-1/2″ x 8-1/4″
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Price: $7.99
ISBN: 978-1-68263-183-6
Publication Date: 3/1/2020
Page Count: 48
Size: 5-1/2″ x 8-1/4″
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-68263-240-6
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English

Purchase this eBook through the following vendors:

Barnes & Noble

F&P: Y, Gr 6, Genre I
Lexile: 1280L
Themes: Bacteria, Ecosystems, Insects, Poetry Forms, Worms
BISAC 1: JNF042010 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Poetry / Humorous
BISAC 2: JNF051050 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Science & Nature / Biology
BISAC 3: JNF051100 JUVENILE NONFICTION / Science & Nature / Environmental Science & Ecosystems


“The poems are expertly crafted in a variety of forms (identified in the backmatter). The language is lively and the imagery appropriate. With alliteration, internal rhymes, and careful rhythm, these will be a delight to read aloud and learn…. Meganck’s engaging digital drawings give each creature pop-eyes and attitude…. A delightful, memorable introduction to an unsung ecosystem.” ―Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Bulion stuffs her poems with scientific detail and puts even more into accompanying “science notes.” Meganck’s cartoons strike sillier notes…balancing all of the information Bulion provides with hefty doses of fun.” ―Publishers Weekly

“In this ecological poetry collection, Bulion works her own magic, turning potentially dull life science into zany fun…. An amusing way to get the dirt on food chains.” ―Booklist

“Educational and highly entertaining…rich with cross-curricular teaching opportunities. Meganck’s humorous, digitally rendered cartoon artwork will have readers giggling as they learn.… An excellent find for science fans and teachers alike.” ―School Library Journal

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“A fascinating and funny introduction to the duff or brown food web… Terrific back matter… Bright comic illustrations by Robert Meganck make these critters very appealing while adding to reader’s understanding and make this small book truly enticing.  Fabulous fun, this is a real winner both for the classroom and for young scientists learning on their own.” ―Booklist Reader

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Eureka! Nonfiction Children’s Book Award Silver Honor ―California Reading Association, 2018

Moonbeam Children’s Book Award (Silver, Children’s Poetry) ―Independent Publisher, 2018

Alabama Camellia Award (Nominee, Grades 4-5 Non-fiction) ―Alabama Department of Education, 2019-2020

Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Junior High) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2019

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Meet the Author

Leslie Bulion

Leslie Bulion is the author of several children’s books, including Uncharted WatersThe Trouble With Rules, and Fatuma’s New Cloth, winner of the African Studies Association’s 2002 Children’s Africana Books. She lives in Connecticut. You can visit  her website here.

Meet the Illustrator

Robert Meganck

Designer and illustrator Robert Meganck is a professor of illustration, graphic design, digital imaging, and color theory at Virginia Commonwealth University.  He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI.  He has received over 300 regional, national, and international awards for illustration and graphic design work. He lives in Virginia.