Eaton explores butterflies.
Having won over his young readers with titles about a wide variety of vertebrates, such as The Truth About Hawks (2019), Eaton introduces insects—with a focus on butterflies—with his signature combination of carefully chosen facts and engaging fantasy. Here, his cast of characters includes a brown-skinned human observer who uses a wheelchair and a hungry cat as well as a wide range of talking butterflies. A selection of colorful species is shown at actual size on an early spread. The author describes some of their “useful parts” (proboscis, antennae, compound eyes, tarsi) and how they avoid being eaten. One double-page spread examines how butterflies differ from moths, with butterflies on verso in the daytime and moths across the gutter on recto at night. Appropriately, Eaton devotes the most space to chronicling butterfly metamorphosis, using the monarch (studied in many classrooms) to illustrate each stage. He tells his young readers how to distinguish male and female monarchs and describes the search for a mate. Winter can be a problem: Some types of butterflies die, some hibernate, and monarchs fly to Mexico. Finally he mentions human threats. To help, his readers can care for butterfly gardens or even help raise butterflies from caterpillars. His cartoon-style illustrations feature firm black outlines and bright colors. They deserve careful attention: They reinforce the solid information and add sly humor. (A poop/pupa joke will help retention of that particular vocabulary word.)
“Seriously funny facts” that will fly off the shelves.(further facts, further research) (Informational picture book. 4-9)