Beautiful Butterflies

They flutter around the tall, bright flowers in springtime and summer, only stopping to drink sweet nectar or lay their eggs on green leaves. Who would believe a gorgeous butterfly could come from a homely caterpillar?

You can watch this miracle happen at your house. Grab a butterfly book from the library to learn how to find their eggs and raise them from creepy-crawlies into splendid winged beauties. While you wait for them to grow, try a butterfly folktale or two. People around the world have made up stories about butterflies!

Can't get enough of the fluttering ones? We have also found some fun butterfly crafts for you, both on the Web and in the library.

In the Library

The Beautiful Butterfly: A Folktale from Spain retold by Judy Sierra.
Butterfly marries Mouse for his sweet voice, but then disaster strikes! Only silliness can save the day.

The Butterfly Book: A Kid's Guide to Attracting, Raising, and Keeping Butterflies by Kersten Hamilton.
Lots of information here in a fun to read book. Learn how to capture butterflies safely and how to plant a garden to bring the winged ones to your backyard.

Butterfly House by Eve Bunting.
A little girl rescues a tiny black caterpillar from a hungry blue jay. She and her grandpa make a perfect butterfly house in this beautiful picture book.

Butterfly Story by Anca Hariton.
A lovely beginning book for learning about the life cycle of the butterfly. Older students will enjoy the more advanced explanations included at the end.

Coyote and the Laughing Butterflies retold and illustrated by Harriet Peck Taylor.
Why do butterflies fly to and fro? They're laughing at the trick they played on Coyote long ago. A retelling of a folktale from the Native Americans of the Southwest.

From Caterpillar to Butterfly by Deborah Heiligman. Butterfly and a chrysalis
A science book that's fun for advanced beginning readers. Works well as a read-along for a butterfly project.

The Great Butterfly Hunt: The Mystery of the Migrating Monarchs by Ethan Herberman.
Why do orange and black monarch butterflies travel such great distances year after year? A science mystery!

Monarch Magic! Butterfly Activities & Nature Discoveries by Lynn M. Rosenblatt.
This award-winning book includes beautiful photographs of the life cycle of the butterfly, great crafts, and recommended Internet sites.

Where Butterflies Grow by Joanne Ryder.
"In a field of lacy leaves, a small caterpillar hatches, grows, and sheds its skin, becoming a smooth, green creeper. It eats and changes some more, then in a sequence of remarkable close-ups, spins a sliken sling in which to pupate--until it finally bursts forth as a brilliant black swallowtail butterfly. Includes suggestions on how children can grow butterfiles in their own gardens."

On the Web

Beautiful Butterfly Costume
Take kid. Add wings. Voila, instant butterfly! A basic idea that allows for lots of creativity. All it takes is poster board, pipe cleaners, ribbons, and crafty stuff for decoration.

Butterflies and Caterpillars from Hummingbird Educational Resources
Lots of ideas for teachers or favorite babysitters. Try a butterfly life cycle bracelet, tin foil butterflies, a cocoon surprise, a papier mache cocoon, fluttering butterfly snacks, songs, and fingerplays.

The Monarch Butterfly
Monarch butterflies are amazing creatures-- beautiful and poisonous to any predator who tries to eat them. The photos on this page show the life cycle of a monarch butterfly and can be used freely for educational purposes. Look for fun coloring pages and jigsaw puzzles featuring the monarch butterfly.

Really Big, Stuffed Newspaper Butterfly
Young kids can have fun making this big, friendly butterfly with an older person's help.

Rearing Butterflies at Home
Serious about raising butterflies? Englishman Colin Simpson has devised a step-by-step guide from gathering the eggs in the wild to releasing the butterflies back into their home environment.