Several years ago I heard about an intriguing living science book that Charlotte Mason had used in her schools. The book was called Jack’s Insects, and I looked everywhere for it. I couldn’t find it anywhere — online or off. So I kept it on my watch list and went on about my schooling. Imagine my excitement when I finally spotted a copy this year from an antique book seller online!

Originally published in 1910, this book is true Charlotte Mason style. The story is about Jack and Maggie, who find themselves inside Jack’s new insect book. They learn about the various insects through first-hand encounters and conversations with them. (And believe me, these insects are quite the characters!)

I found myself laughing out loud at Edmund Selous’ clever plays on words and wishing more people could enjoy this book. So we started typing . . . and proofreading . . . and correcting . . . and formatting . . . and proofreading again.

Today we are excited to announce that Jack’s Insects is once again in print! Now a whole new generation can learn along with Jack and Maggie as they question a butterfly, narrate to a spider, go underground with a cicada, anger a wasp, attend a katydid concert, hear a candle fly’s court case, and sail with a raft-spider (to name just a few of their adventures).

Charlotte used this book with grades 4-6, reading through it in small portions spread throughout the months.

You can learn more about Jack’s Insects and download a sample chapter on our Web site.

If you’re going to be at the Nashville or Charleston All-Day CM Seminar, I’ll have copies with me. See you there!


  1. Some have asked about the sequel, Jack’s Other Insects. We originally got both Jack’s Insects and Jack’s Other Insects from the antique book seller, intending to republish both. One of my daughters got to looking through it and discovered that Jack’s Other Insects was simply the last ten chapters of Jack’s Insects published as a separate book. So as far as we know, this reprint of Jack’s Insects contains all the chapters from both books.

  2. Thanks so much for finding this treasure!! I, too, have been looking for this book for years. At one point Tanglewood Education was going to do a reprint but as it happens they had to cancel those plans. I ordered the hard copy yesterday along with some other things I had been wanting. I am excited about all my new goodies coming from you wonderful folks at SimplyCharlotteMason. I have been totally delighted with everything you all do. The planning book helped me get things together…my husband is ecstatic with the time I now have to focus on the family! Thanks so very much!!!

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