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Fabulous Fluttering Tropical Butterflies Hardcover – April 1, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

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.

From Booklist

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 DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 1 and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Childrens (April 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802788386
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802788382
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 0.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,138,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ever since I was a child I've loved nature and animals. I spent my time out of doors, picking flowers and scooping tadpoles out of ponds. So it's no wonder I studied biology and became an author myself of the kind of gifts I loved when I was young, books about nature. I've expanded into other fascinating areas of nonfiction, too, especially historical topics of the American west, such as Lewis and Clark and Native Americans.

The lives of wolves and dogs especially fascinate me. Scientists consider them the same species, but wolves are so successful at being wild, and dogs have done a great job of attaching themselves to humans in so many ways. I've explored this relationship from different angles in recent books--"The Right Dog for the Job: Irah's Path from Service Dog to Guide Dog," "Saving Audie: A Pit Bull Puppy Gets a Second Chance," "Dogs on Duty: Soldiers' Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond," and "Super Sniffers: Dog Detectives on the Job." At this time, I have two more dog books in process.

My one fiction, "Return of the Wolf," now available in a Kindle edition, shows how wolves live in the wild. If you read this book, you'll recognize behavior your dog shares with its wild cousin, such as submissive or dominant behavior. "When the Wolves Return: Restoring Nature's Balance in Yellowstone" demonstrates the importance of wolves to the natural ecosystem.

My interest in animals goes beyond canines--"Decorated Horses," for young readers, explores a number of ways people over time have decorated their horses for different reasons, and "The Call of the Osprey" explores not only the life of this amazing bird but also research at the University of Montana on dangerous heavy metals deposited in the Clark Fork River from past mining operations through measurements of these substances in the blood of osprey chicks.

My work has given me the gift of travel to all sorts of fascinating places such as the Galapagos Island, the Costa Rican Rain Forest, the arctic tundra, and more. Since my favorite activity is learning new information, I plan to keep traveling and writing for many years ahead.

To learn more about me and my books, visit my website,, and my new blog,

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In a series of books that are placed in the "Children's" category, even when they are by the uniquely matched team of author Dorothy Hinshaw Patent and artist Kendahl Jan Jubb, there is usually a tendency for the initial impact to wear thin. Not so with FABULOUS FLUTTERING TROPICAL BUTTERFLIES! Patent writes with wisdom and excellent teaching skills, while Jubb is obviously in love with the subject. Jubb is a painter of nature and when required to include the human species in her works she is less successful. Oh, they LOOK like the people under scrutiny, but turn you attention to the actual butterflies and their various forms for morphing and you'll see the difference. This little book flies off the table with dazzling color: when Jubb is illustrating the owl butterflies of South America, she subtly includes paintings of owls to make her artistic point. And her phases of caterpillar to chrysalis to emerging butterfly are stunning. This little book reads well and is bound to be a favorite with children of all ages.
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