From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4-With a matter-of-fact text and splashy illustrations, this introduction to tropical butterflies is a mixed bag. Patent first describes the life cycle of a butterfly and then discusses individual tropical species, telling how each one has adapted to survive in its rain-forest environment. She ends with a section on butterfly houses and farms. The text is informative but sketchy, giving an overview of the topic but not much detail. Jubb's watercolor illustrations are so bright and intense that they are overwhelming when viewed close up, and none of the species is labeled. They might be better for sharing with a group, as they can best be appreciated at some distance. The thick lines and large swathes of color seem almost at odds with the delicacy of the subject matter. Measurements are given (in inches only) for some species but not for all, and the artwork makes it difficult to imagine the relative sizes of the different creatures. An outline map on the endpapers shows the locations of these insects' habitats, but no countries or even continents are identified. All in all, a disappointing effort.Louise L. Sherman, formerly at Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 1-3. Patent, who has written other books in this vein (Flashy Fantastic Rain Forest Frogs
), takes her readers on the journey from egg to caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly. She then shows how tropical butterflies get to butterfly pavilions in zoos and gardens in New York and Denver (chrysalises are shipped from places such as the Butterfly Farm in Costa Rica). She explains how color and iridescence come from the butterfly's scales, and the effect of light, and why some butterflies taste really bad to birds. There's an index of names at the back, but no bibliography or sources. The watercolor pictures are rich and bright, but, unfortunately, their very splashiness works against them. The butterfly patterns and colors are so intense that they blend into, rather than stand out from, the brilliantly colored and detailed backgrounds, making them hard to see clearly. Nonetheless, this will answer many questions. GraceAnne DeCandidoCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved