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by Carol Lerner, illustrated by Carol Lerner

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: May 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-688-17478-7
Publisher: HarperCollins

The relationship between butterflies and the gardens that provide their food and habitat is the focus for this informative work by Lerner (On the Wing: American Birds in Migration, 2001, etc.). She introduces common families of butterflies, showing examples in flight against brightly colored flowers, vegetables, and even weeds that attract butterflies (or caterpillars). An author’s note identifies the specific kinds of butterflies illustrated throughout the text, and attractive endpapers identify many more additional varieties. Her carefully researched paintings show all the tiny patterns of the butterfly wings in exquisite detail, and her flowers are beautifully portrayed against pale blue backgrounds with the flowers labeled unobtrusively, providing information without destroying the artistic integrity of the illustrations. Diagrams are integrated into the illustrations to show the inside of flowers, butterfly anatomy, and the life cycle of the butterfly. Ways to attract the lovely creatures to the garden are also included, with suggested plants and projects. The discussion of the butterfly life cycle falls rather awkwardly at the end of the work (after eggs and caterpillars have already been mentioned in other contexts), which could be confusing to children not already familiar with the correct progression of life stages. However, this work will find a ready audience for science lessons and school reports; recommended for the science shelves of larger school and public libraries as well as home libraries. (Nonfiction. 5-8)