The Magic of Butterflies

Children love to watch and learn about butterflies. From a young boy who carefully studies the butterflies in the rainforest to different cultural rituals involving butterflies, these books capture the magic of these extraordinary insects.

Related resources

A Butterfly's Life

Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish

In this engaging nonfiction book, early readers are introduced to the life cycle of a butterfly. Readers will be captivated by the vivid photographs of the butterfly's life, and informative text.
 

Butterflies on Carmen Street

Illustrated by: April Ward

Julianita is excited to receive her very own caterpillar to raise at school! Yet when her caterpillar, Tiger, finally emerges from his chrysalis, Julianita doesn't want to let him go. She worries that he will get lost on his way to Mexico. "Tiger knows the way to Mexico because it's in his heart," her Abuelito reassures her. She feels sad to see Tiger fly away, but Julianita knows that someday, she will follow him to back to her grandfather's beloved homeland.

Butterfly Colors and Counting

Illustrated by: Shennan Bersani
Age Level: 0-3

Count colorful butterflies in natural settings in this attractively illustrated concept book. Numerous species of butterflies are included in the book, as well as the word for "butterfly" in different languages.

Caterpillar to Butterfly (National Geographic Kids)

Age Level: 6-9
Language: Spanish

Butterflies are all around us. It's hard to believe these majestic insects with impressive wingspans and beautifully colored and patterned wings were once creepy crawly caterpillars. How in the world does this transformation happen? This Level 1 Reader gives kids an up-close look at exactly how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. With bonus information including different types of butterflies and poisonous caterpillars, this reader is one of a kind.

Leo and the Butterflies

Age Level: 3-6
Language: Spanish

Meet a young boy named Leo who lives in Costa Rica. Learn all of the things Leo knows about the butterflies that live in the rainforest near his home. Spanish version also available.

Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian

Illustrated by: Julie Paschkis
Age Level: 3-6

Butterflies were once thought to be "beasts of the devil." Maria Merian, a perceptive young German naturalist, knew better. She recorded her notes and drawings on the butterflies' transformation in secret so that she would not be accused of witchcraft and later became a famous scientist and artist who helped the rest of the world understand natural life cycles. Margarita Engle brings her extraordinary story to life, accompanied by Julie Paschkis' gorgeous illustrations.

The Butterfly Dance

Age Level: 6-9

This story chronicles one important day seen through the eyes of a young Hopi girl named Sihumana, or "Flower Maiden", who is a member of the Rabbit Clan and winningly portrayed as a rabbit. After going with her grandfather to greet the sun and bless the day, Sihumana travels with her family to another village to take part in the traditional Butterfly Dance, performed late each summer in order to bring rain to the dry lands of the Southwest. (Tales of the People)

Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead

Illustrated by: Rene King Moreno
Age Level: 6-9

Day after day, Lupita and Tío Urbano watch the Monarch butterflies arrive. Urbano says they are the souls of the dead ones arriving in time for Día de los muertos. When Urbano becomes sick and dies soon after, Lupita feels only sadness — until she sees the Monarchs and remembers Urbano's words. The beautiful story and illustrations bring the true meaning of this important celebration to life for readers young and old.