butterfly guide books for kids

January 27, 2010

I started grabbing up old nature guides whenever I came across them at goodwill this past year. I found several on birds, and two each on seashells, trees, and butterflies.

In my mind, I had visions of Juliet and I using these guides when she was older, like when she could read them for herself. In the vision, we would stroll along the beach gathering seashells and then sit down and look them up in our book to learn more about them, or go out into the park with our bird guides and try to spot various birds.

I have kept all these guides in my room until a few weeks ago. I brought them downstairs and placed them on the coffee table because I wanted to look through them more closely and enjoy some of the images. To my surprise, Juliet sat down with me and started "reading" them, too.

"What's this bird, mom? Which one is your favorite? Hey! This one is my VERY FAVORITE!" and other such questions and exclamations filled our house. And it wasn't just for one day, either. She loves these books, especially one of the bird guides and looks at them over and over again.

I had no idea that she would love these books or even be able to use them at such a young age. But now that I know, I wanted to share a few with you. I think part of the appeal is the beautiful images--you really don't have to be able to read the words to get something out of these books.

Butterflies (A Golden Book of 187 Familiar North American Butterflies) by J.F. Gates Clarke, Ph.D, Illustrated by Andre Durenceau, published 1963.

Butterflies and Moths (A Golden Guide): A Guide to the More Common American Species by Robert T. Mitchell and Herbert S. Zim, Illustrated by Andre Durenceau

Here's a peek at what one of the pages looks like inside. I love how brightly colored and detailed the butterflies are. (I didn't realize until I typed this post that the same artist illustrated both books.)

For her birthday, Juliet's uncle sent the most amazing card. It had a birthday message and also some punch-out butterflies that you could use to assemble a butterfly mobile!

Each butterfly had a paragraph giving some basic information about it.

We read the names of each, a little about it, and then punched it out.

Then we used the punch outs and searched for each in the guidebooks! Juliet had a lot of fun spotting the butterflies in the book. Here's the monarch, one we were already familiar with.

And here is a new one we learned about: the buckeye--so named because the dots on its wings resemble a deer's eye.

This was a great activity to get Juliet to practice focusing on details. She had to carefully study the punch out butterfly and then find it's match in the book.

You could easily replicate this activity by photo copying butterfly images from your own book or cutting them out from old calendars, magazines, or greeting cards.

We then followed the directions to make the mobile...

...and hung it up in our kitchen!

Here are some of our favorite butterfly picture books to share with you:

Good Night, Sweet Butterflies (Mini Edition)

Board Book
: (for baby)
Good Night, Sweet Butterflies  by Melanie Gerth
The Butterfly Alphabet Book (Jerry Pallotta's Alphabet Books)

ABC Book: The Butterfly Alphabet Book (Jerry Pallotta's Alphabet Books)by Brian Cassie and Jerry Palotta

Do you have a favorite butterfly book or nature guide book or activity to share?

I'm linking up to  Feed Me Books Friday


kellyi said...

A First Book of Birds by Peter Holden J.T.R. Sharrock.


This is the book in my picture - thank you for stopping by!

Zoe @ Playing by the book said...

It sounds like you and Juliet have been having a lovely time. M also loves these sorts of guides - especially bird books. We've collected quite a few, but we've also bought some very cheap in charity shops to cut up - the images can be used to make great collages (if you can bring yourself to cut up a book that is). There are SO many great butterfly picture books out there... have you got Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert?

Elise said...

These books are beautiful. I love that there are so many great activities you can do with Juliet using such gorgeous pictures.

Now you have got me thinking about checking out some stores for some vintage field guides.

Adventure Mom Janna said...

Yes! Children can recognize beauty when they see it.

Some of these books that you find have such boring or simplistic illustrations. There is such symmetry and order to the patterns of butterflies.

I'm so glad to know there are blogs like yours. I think I was running in the "couponing circles" and didn't know it. Now, I'm starting to find people who think and write more like I do.

Thank you for linking up and I'm excited to read more of your posts as a follower. Please join us again for Feed Me Books Friday. This was a great contribution.

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