One Long Line: Marching Caterpillars and the Scientists Who Followed Them

Illustrator: Jamie Green

Binding: Paperback

Imprint: MIT Kids Press

Age 7+

Wildlife Science & Technology: General Interest

A fresh and fascinating look at caterpillars ushers kids into the process of scientific discovery in this first book in the Discovery Chronicles by a biologist and award-winning children’s author.
This is a story about remarkable creatures, inquisitive people and fascinating conversations. The creatures? Pine processionary caterpillars with mysterious group habits. The people? Jean Henri Fabre and, many years later, Terrence Fitzgerald – scientists with big questions about the behaviour of these caterpillars. And the conversations? The conversations span lifetimes, as one researcher continues a dialogue started by the other.

In this playful, candid, and accessible book for young readers, biologist Loree Griffin Burns captures the unique leader-follower behaviour of pine processionary caterpillars through a glimpse into the “ask, test, repeat” nature of the scientific process – and shows how that process creates one long line of questioning and learning. Back matter includes more details about the two scientists as well as a glossary, bibliography, source notes, and suggestions for further reading.


Loree Griffin Burns is a biologist and the author of many nonfiction books for children. Her books have won many accolades, including American Library Association Notable designations, a Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor, an International Reading Association Children’s Book Award, a Green Earth Book Award, and two AAAS/Subaru Prizes for Excellence in Science Books. She lives in New England, where she writes, teaches, and studies her insect neighbours.
Jamie Green is the illustrator of multiple books for young readers and was named the Society of Illustrators Zankel Scholar in 2019. Their work explores the natural world, along with themes of human connection, travel, history and movement. Jamie Green lives in South Carolina, and can often be found either in the corner of a café or on trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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