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Are You a Butterfly? (Backyard Books) Paperback – May 16, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-Two attractive introductions to creatures likely to be found in backyards and empty lots. Beginning with the title questions, the simple, conversational texts go on to present various facets of the lives of the featured animals. As newly hatched butterflies, readers are reassured, "Your wings are crumpled. They look terrible. Don't worry." As spiders, they are warned, "If you catch a wasp in your web, don't try to eat it." Ultimately, readers are returned to human childhood and given a couple of pages of extra data about their fanciful incarnations. The softly colored, realistic illustrations depict caterpillars/butterflies and spiderlings/spiders going about their daily lives, keeping step with the text, and the focus comes back to a group of children at the close. Small carps-the butterflies have a pair of parents; the spiders only a mother. Neither species is identified, and some spiders do not spin elaborate webs. These titles are somewhat reminiscent of Mick Manning's equally engaging A Ruined House (1996) and Karen Wallace's Red Fox (1994, both Candlewick). Readers will find Butterfly and Spider comforting and helpful, with touches of humor scattered throughout.
Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Reviewed with Judy Allen's Are You a Spider?

Ages 4-6. From the Backyard Books series, which debuted this spring with Are You a Ladybug? and Are You a Snail? , come two more volumes that lead children to imagine themselves as small, familiar animals. Butterfly begins with the egg, followed by the caterpillar, the chrysalis, and the emergence of the butterfly. The text, informal and engaging, talks the child/animal through its metamorphoses: "Your wings are crumpled. They look terrible. Don't worry. Hang upside down from your chrysalis." In Spider , the narration addresses a newly hatched spider, instructing it in the art of spinning thread and creating a proper web, and warning it to watch out for birds and wasps. Humphries' artwork, colorful and precise, offers large-scale pictures just right for sharing with preschool and primary-grade classes. Two fine additions to an informative and enjoyable nature series for young children. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Series: Backyard Books
  • Paperback: 28 pages
  • Publisher: Kingfisher; Reprint edition (May 16, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753456087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753456088
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.2 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Judy Allen is an award-winning author whose novel Awaiting Developments won the Whitbread Children's Novel Award. Judy Allen and illustrator Tudor Humphries created Kingfisher's award-winning Backyard Books series and many other successful books, including the Reading Rainbow selections Tiger and Seal.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By "a_mom" on April 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Written as if the author is speaking directly to the reader, this wonderful book draws the reader into the world of the butterfly. It does a very appropriate job of explaining the life cycle of the butterfly in terms a preschooler can understand. The illustrations are also quite nice, not too detailed or flowery, not too plain. They complement the simple text very well. Especially nice are the ones near the end of the book of the little girl.
However, there are many nice books for preschoolers about butterflies. This particular book's special quality is in the way it invites the reader to imagine what it's like to be a butterfly. My preschoolers greatly enjoy "acting out" the book, starting as a caterpillar eating it's way out of an egg. The text is perfect for a simple preschooler "play". It gives them a creative way to move and physically explore what they've learned.
The ending to the book is very nice, too. Rather than just stopping once the caterpillar turns into a butterfly, or after explaining the common activities of butterflies, the book draws the reader back to reality. The reader doesn't look like a butterfly; the reader looks like, and is, a human child. The book briefly contrasts the differences between the butterfly and the human, listing good things about being a human.
The final pages list interesting facts about butterflies. Most are just a bit too complex for young preschoolers, but early grade school children should appreciate them. The admonition to not touch a butterfly's wings is well done and a nice way to end the book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. ware on January 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
Another winner from Kingfisher Publications!I just bought this book for my 2 year old daughter and we love it! the pictures are beautiful. The text is well thought out- it is engaging and informative but still will not overwhelm a toddler. I am going to get the rest of the books in this series in hopes that they are all as good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dad of one on September 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We have ordered the majority of the Backyard books for our daughter who loves science. Good explanation, fair illustrations. Has been great for preschooler, early elementary age child regarding understanding material and encouraging interest in science. Our favorites are "Are you a Ladybug" and "Are you a Butterfly" but all books have been informative and fun to read! We have even learned quite a bit as parents and one of us actually has a science background.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jolanta on February 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a book i would recommend to all of the preschool teachers. Great illustrations and lots of new vocabulary.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K. A. Stevenson VINE VOICE on September 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased four books on butterflies for the first grade class that I adopted and unfortunately this was the WORST book by far! It had about 20 written pages, but the information just wasn't that great.

What bothered me the most was that the book ended so abruptly. It just said not to touch a butterfly's wings. If they cannot fly, they will die. What kind of ending is that for a children's book??!

Believe it or not, one of the absolute BEST books on butterflies is from the Cat in the Hat series, "My, Oh My - a Butterfly!" It had the very best information, as well as a great rhyming pattern!

"The Very Hungry Caterpillar Pop-Up Book" was very cute too.

I'm sorry, but save your money with this book. I just can't recommend it at all!
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By J. Patterson on July 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this series. They are written in a creative and interesting manner that will draw a young reader in. They tell the information by asking questions. At the end it of the book it brings the child to understand their attributes as well. I bought quite a number of books from this series.
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By Sanmar on July 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Was having a camp with my 3.5 and 4.5 great nephews. Part of it was learning about insects.
The book was pretty informative, good for their age and they seemed to like them. They picked it to be read more than once the week I was there.
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