THE BUTTERFLY BOOK - A Kids Guide to Attracting, Raising, and Keeping Butterflies
by Kersten Hamilton
Review: From Booklist
Hamilton's wide-format paperback surveys the life stages, body structures, and habits of butterflies. Readers interested in raising butterflies from egg, caterpillar, or chrysalis will find useful information on the safe handling and temporary keeping of butterflies before returning them to the wild. For instance, Hamilton warns not to keep butterflies in glass jars, where they can injure their wings. She also shows how to mend a broken wing.
Readers uninterested in hunting butterflies will find good advice for attracting them to the garden by raising the plants they depend on, avoiding the use of insecticides, and providing appropriate food, water, and shelter. A field guide identifies 20 butterflies common to North America, their larval food plants, and their habitat zones. Full-color photographs and ink drawings with watercolor washes illustrate the text.
Full of intriguing facts presented in a readable way, this guide will appeal to children studying butterflies in the classroom or the backyard. ..Carolyn Phelan
Kersten Hamilton on why she wrote this book: When I was ten years old, I killed a butterfly. I didn’t mean to kill it—in fact, I was trying to save it. I had collected a chrysalis before it could be destroyed along with a pile of weeds. I knew it was alive because it twitched when I touched it. When the chrysalis grew stiff and stopped twitching, I thought it was dead. I cracked it open to see what had happened to it. The chrysalis was full of soupy green-brown goo. I thought the caterpillar had rotted. When I researched it, I found out that inside the mummy–like chrysalis a caterpillar’s flesh and organs dissolve. It turns into a living soup! The few cells that remain together carry the blueprint for an adult butterfly. The caterpillar soup reforms around these groups of cells into the wings, legs and body of an adult.
I went on to raise many healthy butterflies, and thirty years later I wrote The Butterfly Book in memory of the butterfly I killed. It is used in classrooms across the nation. I hope it saves tens of thousands of butterfly lives. Ask for The Butterfly Book: A Kids Guide to Attracting, Raising, and Keeping Butterflies at your local independent bookstore, or order it from Amazon via my Books page: http://home.comcast.net/~kerstenhamilton/books.html
Shari: What wonderful information. Have you ever tried to raise a butterfly?
Check back tomorrow when I interview Max Elliot Anderson and we learn more about reluctant readers.