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Butterfly House Hardcover – May 1, 1999


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Butterfly House + From Caterpillar to Butterfly  (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 1) + National Geographic Readers: Caterpillar to Butterfly
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 500L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; First Edition edition (May 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590848844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590848848
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 9.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this somewhat treacly memoir, a girl saves a caterpillar, "a small black creature/ like a tiny worm,/ ...from a greedy jay/ who wanted it/ for lunch." Her grandpa explains that she has found a larva that will become a butterfly, and the two make a shoebox home for it, decorated with cut-paper flowers and topped with a sky-blue lid and a "curve of rainbow/ like a hug/ to keep her safe." When the caterpillar transforms into a painted lady, the girl lets it go. Many years later, when the granddaughter has reached her grandfather's age, butterflies continue to flock to her garden. Bunting precisely documents the raising of the butterfly, but, unlike her other intergenerational tale, I Have an Olive Tree (reviewed above), this story conveys little of the relationship between the girl and her grandfather. Much of the connection between the girl and her rescued pet comes through at the end, thanks to Shed's (also teamed with Bunting for Dandelions) close-up paintings in a smudgy pastel palette that connects past and present with an air of timelessness. A step-by-step guide to raising a butterfly closes the book. Ages 5-8. (May)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-After saving a caterpillar from a hungry bird, a young girl consults her grandfather and together they build a butterfly house. Considering the barren box, the child determines to bring outdoor beauty indoors, so the pair create a colorful "garden" of painted flowers to line the sides and a blue sky on the inner lid. Ultimately, the larva forms a chrysalis, undergoes the marvelous metamorphosis into a Painted Lady butterfly, and is set free by the tearful girl. The simply worded tale is narrated by the child grown old, who exults in a plethora of Painted Ladies in her butterfly garden, sure that they are the descendants of that long-ago butterfly who passed on memories of loving consideration. Shed's soft-edged gouaches in Painted Lady tones celebrate this joyous story in perfect rhythm and the whole will produce sighs of satisfaction from readers and listeners alike. It may also give rise to pleas for boxes and jars, papers and paints to raise butterflies. Teamed with such ideal nonfiction complements as Deborah Heiligman's From Caterpillar to Butterfly (HarperCollins, 1996) and Joanne Ryder's Where Butterflies Grow (Lodestar, 1989), plus a teacher-peek at E. Jaediker Norsgaard's How to Raise Butterflies (Dodd, Mead, 1988; o.p.), the book provides the nucleus for a fine whole-language science unit for the youngest set.
Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Eve Bunting has written more than 200 books for children, many of which can be found in libraries around the world. Her other Clarion titles for very young readers include My Big Boy Bed, which was also illustrated by Maggie Smith, and Little Bear's Little Boat, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. She lives in Pasadena, California.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The kids I read it to liked it and I do highly recommend it.
D. Blankenship
Similar is the love for the butterfly that the children will experience in each book.
Marcia Trimble(bugsmom2@aol.com)
The illustrations are beautiful and story is very sweet and engaging.
Carme Sevenster

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 1, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This was a delightful book written by Eve Bunting highlighting her wonderful style of writing. This book caught my eye at first by the beautiful cover but then I was spell bound by the wonderful illustrations and the delightful story. I was also attracted to this book because of the butterflies. I am a teacher and my first grade class just raised painted lady butterflies, just like in the book. It was a wonderful book to share with my students, especially on the day we released our own butterflies. The book helped explain that it was okay to cry but to be happy at their new found freedom. I would recommend this book to anyone at any age.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Marcia Trimble(bugsmom2@aol.com) on October 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I saw a copy of BUTTERFLY HOUSE and bought it right away because I was attracted to the love and warmth that the book radiates through its story and illustrations on one of my favorite subjects, the butterfly. Butterfly lovers can look for MALINDA MARTHA MEETS MARIPOSA too, different in that it features the Monarch rather than the Painted Lady and different again in that it offers the dimension of acting out the life-cycle as a play. Similar is the love for the butterfly that the children will experience in each book. One doesn't seem complete without the other. Together a child will build a life-time of love and knowledge on this subject.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
What a beautiful story. A little girl finds and saves a tiny "worm" from a hungry Jay. She takes the caterpillar to her grandfather, who then helps her build a butterfly box. They decorate it together, and eventually, when the butterfly breaks out of its cocoon and becomes a beautiful butterfly, they let it go back into the wild, their garden.

This is rather a simple story at first glance. The art work by Greg Shed can only be described as "delicious." Soft colors, well blended and mellow, along with very accurate details of flowers and wildlife, make this book a treasure to view. Like so many children's books, the pictures can be enjoyed, even without reading the words.

Now as to the text is this particular book. I found it absolutely delightful. More prose that anything else, it not only precisely informs as to how to raise a butterfly, but it very well illustrates the love between the grandfather and granddaughter. Now I am not as sophisticated as those folks who write for Publisher's Weekly, who's almost incoherent review seemed to feel the syntax was a bit "treacly." I found nothing overly sweet or cloying what-so-ever. I do hope I never become so sophisticated either. How boring! I suppose that lines such as "How strange to think my grandpa once was young like me. " We would have been best friends if I'd been there back then," I said. My grandpa smiled. "It worked out anyhow, we're best friends now," was a bit over the top for them.

Anyway, when the little girl grows up, she lives in the same house her grandpa did. Her garden is just as beautiful and is filled with butterflies each year.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is about a girl who saves a caterpillar
from a hungry blue jay. The girl keeps the caterpilar until it is a butterfly. My favorite part is when they make the caterpillar's little house. I LOVE the illustrations.I'd recommend this book to people who like butterflies.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rena Vanderpool on October 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I was very happy with this book. I loved it and so did my class. I plan to use it for many years to come.
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