Beautiful butterflies on view in museums and gardens across North America begin life on farms in Costa Rica.
In words and pictures, an experienced author-illustrator team explains the stages of butterfly metamorphosis that allow these popular insects to be raised at El Bosque Nuevo in the Costa Rican forest for the butterfly garden in the Museum of Science in Boston. This large, square album perfectly complements primary-grade butterfly studies. Crisply reproduced photographs show butterflies in all their stages, the greenhouse and other farm buildings where they are bred and grown, farm workers tending the caterpillars and collecting and packing the pupae, and finally, a child in Boston watching an adult butterfly emerge. A relatively simple text explains the insect’s life cycle and the production process. Some science vocabulary—exoskeleton, pupa, molt—is defined in context. Only in the two-page backmatter (still aimed at the child reader) does the author use the word metamorphosis. There, she also connects the changes in butterflies to the stages of other insects. There’s a map early in the narrative as well as a concluding glossary and appropriate suggestions for further reading and research. Sadly, the intriguing photographs of pupae on the front endpapers and adults on the back aren’t labeled.
Despite this miscalculation, an otherwise valuable addition to any classroom library. (bibliography, index) (Informational picture book. 6-10)