My Book of Butterflies

Groundwood. Aug. 2021. 48p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781773063355.
PreS-Gr 1–This beautifully illustrated and informative picture book introduces readers to a variety of butterflies found around the world. A brief introduction by the author describes his connection to the topic by explaining how he grew up watching the butterflies and caterpillars in his family’s vegetable garden in their yard. This is followed by a clearly illustrated and labeled explanation of the stages of metamorphosis—the butterfly’s life cycle. The majority of the book consists of illustrations and descriptions of a wide range of butterflies, large and small. These descriptions appeal to the reader’s five senses and help promote understanding. For example, a description of the Rocky Mountain Parnassian describes the sound it makes: “These butterflies are fast flyers whose strong wings make a flapping sound as they zip through the mountain meadows where they live.” The illustrations, created with paper collage, acrylic, and colored pencil, are clearly showstoppers and work beautifully with the text. Back matter includes a short glossary, recommended sources and websites, and an index. The endpapers are also worth studying. The front ones show the butterfly’s caterpillar form, while the back ones show the mature butterfly.
VERDICT A wonderful book to use when studying animals and how they adapt to their environment, but also an excellent model of how to skillfully present information in an appealing way. Also, a great book for browsing.

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