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It's a Butterfly's Life Hardcover – April 15, 2007

3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 4—This entertaining book allows children to comprehend the complexity of the natural world, and it will encourage their appreciation of butterflies. It is filled with details about behaviors and body parts, e.g., wings have "shimmering scales that overlap like shingles on a roof." Kelly playfully delineates how they eat: "You may not be able to taste a cupcake by standing on it, but a butterfly can!" She characterizes the migration of monarchs and explains the process of metamorphosis by including a dramatic comparison—a monarch caterpillar is 2700 times its original weight in two weeks. "If a newborn baby gained weight that fast, it would weigh eight tons. That's as big as two full-grown rhinos!" The text curves up and down, suggesting the fluttering movement of butterflies. Specific creatures are identified, although the delicate watercolor, gouache, and pen-and-ink artwork is somewhat muted and the colors are not quite as vibrant as one might expect. Nonetheless, this is a delightful book to share with children and would be a splendid resource for reports, even though there is no index.—Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

With a simple, informative text and detailed illustrations, this picture book introduces young children to exciting scientific detail about butterflies. Each picture shows a particular species, which Kelly carefully names even as she describes common behaviors. The Bathmore Checkerspot searches for the right plant on which to lay its eggs; migrating monarchs fly up to 80 miles in just one day. Several pages depict the metamorphosis from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. The entomology in simple words and delicately modeled ink, watercolor, and gouache artwork will make kids look closely at the natural world around them; some kids may even want to take up the suggestion to plant a butterfly garden. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House (April 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 082341860X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823418602
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 8.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,095,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Irene Kelly is an author and illustrator. Her books have received numerous awards, including two John Burroughs awards and a Children's Choice award. Her nature books for children have been sited as "proof that science nonfiction can be accurate, factual and completely engrossing" (Kirkus). Reviewers have called her work exquisite, informative, entertaining, delightful, and intriguing. Learn more about Irene by visiting her website:

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mother of 2, NYC on December 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
We have many books on nature for our 2 young children, but this book about caterpillars and butterflies is our favorite. The text is full of fun, and details (many facts even a nature lover like myself didn't know). My kids ask for us to read this book over and over. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on November 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautifully-illustrated book about butterflies and their cycle of life. It provides a lot of details about butterflies, including the migration of the Monarch butterflies, the different types (buckeye, monarch, Indian Moon, swallowtail, regal greatstreak, etc). The illustrations are gorgeous, giving the pictures an almost life-like appearance, as though the butterflies would take flight out of the pages of the book at any given moment! Older children, aged 9-12 will delight not only in the pictures but also the facts about the metamorphosis etc, but young children like my preschooler will take a lot of pleasure in browsing through the vivid illustrations (and a parent can easily condense the facts for a younger child). Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Linda Austin on February 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Fun attractive pages loaded with pretty paintings of all types of butterflies and their babies, sentences rolling through with interesting tidbits, all should keep both children and adults glued to this delightful book. Loved the cute fuzzy-headed caterpillars hatching and the odd bit about caterpillars that can shoot their frass up to three feet! Learning is fun. See also Where Butterflies Grow (Picture Puffins)
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