best butterfly books for kids: a butterfly reading list

April 3, 2013

After our viewing of Flight of the Butterflies last week, we raided our library for as many butterfly books as we could find.

Here are some more to check out this spring!



Butterfly House is the perfect storybook companion for raising painted lady butterflies (which we did last spring with our Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden. It was probably the highlight of the year for Juliet and she has been talking about the experience ever since.

This story is about a little girl and her grandpa who raise a painted lady from larva to butterfly  together. When she has to let it go, she cries--which really resonated with Juliet because she was completely heartbroken to let her butterflies go last spring.

For more monarch books, we liked the following:



Becoming Butterflies is fun because it presents the scientific information in the form of a story. A teacher brings some caterpillars to class and the kids get to observe and watch the change take place. I love how the kids paint each stage of the life cycle and you can see their artwork in the background. I think we might try doing that when we raise some more painted ladies later this year.


For a more straight-up non-fiction choice, we liked The Life Cycle of a Butterfly. Bright photographs and just enough information for early elementary school-aged kids. It also provides tips for raising your own monarch. If we can ever get some milkweed in our garden, we might try this out! (It's been on my list ever since Robyn shared this post last year!)



For the extremely monarch-crazed of you among us (myself included), An Extraordinary Life: The Story of a Monarch Butterfly is FULL of a ton of information and beautiful illustrations. It's kind of like watching the movie, but in book form. I'd say this is for older students, but Juliet wanted me to read it to her, so we spent several days reading a few pages at a time. We haven't finished it yet, but she's still into it, so we'll keep going.





The Prince of Butterflies is a nice mix of fantasy and biography. The story of John Farrington who became fascinated with butterflies as a boy (the story tells of him hearing the butterflies asking for help and then he becomes one and flies them to safety.) Later, as an adult, he persuades Congress to pass "the Butterfly Road Bill" which set aside "a string of places to be kept forever wild and free so the monarchs could make their yearly migration in peace. Most researches agreed it was John Farrington's law that saved the monarch's from extinction."

I had no idea, but this book was perfect--easy to read and inspiring at the same time. It also opened up the topic of environments and how human development and actions can threaten and harm wildlife. I also loved that it showed how the things you fall in love and the experiences you have as a kid can shape your future as an adult.




Endangered Butterflies  was a great follow up for our "endangered species" discussion. Good straight-forward information from Bobbie Kalman again--nice bright photos and at a simple level for kids to digest and understand.

What butterfly books do you recommend for us? 




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