Butterfly & Moth Books
for Children


Bibliography created and maintained by Laura Mitchell, Reference Librarian and Amateur Lepidopterist


(OP) - Not listed in Books in Print, no longer available from publisher

(*) - Title recommended by our bibliographer for either content, illustrations, or both


Arnosky, Jim. CRINKLEROOT'S GUIDE TO KNOWING BUTTERFLIES & MOTHS. Simon & Schuster, 1996. (32 pages)
A very colorfully illustrated book for ages 4-10; Crinkleroot, who says he was born in a tree and raised by the bees, introduces common moths and butterflies; illustrations of the moths and butterflies are realistic, while the other forest life is more fanciful.
Boyd, Lorenz. FOLLOW THE BUTTERFLY STREAM. Abington Press, 1971. (40 pages) [OP]
Color photographs and text follow the path of a mountain stream in the Great Smoky Mountains describing the insects, butterflies, flowers and scenery.
*Carle, Eric. THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR. Philomel Books, 1979. (28 pages)
A hungry little caterpillar eats nonstop, until, full at last, he forms a cocoon and goes to sleep.
THE CATERPILLAR WHO TURNED INTO A BUTTERFLY. Little Simon, 1980. (16 pages)
Series: a Chubby Board Book. An unhappy caterpillar is convinced he will never be anything else other than a caterpillar.
Conklin, Gladys. I LIKE CATERPILLARS. Holiday House, 1958 (Pages not numbered) [OP]
Darby, Gene. WHAT IS A BUTTERFLY? Benefic Press, 1958. (48 pages) [OP]
DeLuise, Dom. CHARLIE THE CATERPILLAR. Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1990. (33 pages)
A caterpillar is rejected by various animals until he becomes a beautiful butterfly. He befriends another unhappy caterpillar.
Facklam, Margery. CREEPY, CRAWLY CATERPILLARS. Little, Brown and Company, 1996. (32 pages)
Large illustrations show 13 caterpillars, (one per two-page spread) with smaller drawings of the egg, pupal stage, and adult moth or butterfly. Some of the caterpillars look like their color is almost olive green, which is disappointing, but most children will neither notice nor care. They will be captivated and excited by the awesome caterpillars shown.
Farb, Peter. THE STORY OF BUTTERFLIES AND OTHER INSECTS. Harvey House, 1959. (126 pages) [OP]
*Fischer-Nagel, Heiderose. LIFE OF THE BUTTERFLY. Carolrhoda Books, 1987, c1983. (47 pages)
Great photos of the life cycle of the Peacock butterfly {not found in the USA}; a few other American butterflies are mentioned
George, Jean Craighead. THE MOON OF THE MONARCH BUTTERFLIES. Harper Collins Publishers, 1993. (48 pages)
Describes a female Monarch's journey from Arkansas to Michigan as she lays eggs that will hatch and repeat her life cycle.
Gibbons, Gail. MONARCH BUTTERFLY. Holiday House, 1989. (32 pages)
A very colorful book; drawings are "cute" but not completely realistic; describes the life cycle, body parts, and behavior of the Monarch; includes instructions on how to raise a Monarch
Goudey, Alice E. BUTTERFLY TIME. Scribner, 1964. (Pages not numbered) [OP]
*Harvey, Diane Kelsay. MELODY'S MYSTERY. Beautiful America Publishing Co, 1991. (Pages not numbered [about 46 p.]
Dramatic, artistic photographs, different from most Monarch books. The sequence on changing into the chrysalis is especially good. Melody is a Monarch. The text appears in English and Spanish on each page.
Heligman, Deborah. FROM CATERPILLAR TO BUTTERFLY. HarperCollins Publishers, 1996. (31 numbered pages)
[Let's-Read-And-Find-Out Science, Stage 1] Young schoolchildren follow the development of caterpillar in their classroom through its emergence as a Painted Lady butterfly. Stage 1 books target preschool and kindergarten-age children. The appealing illustrations are colorful and moderately realistic.
*Herberman, Ethan. THE GREAT BUTTERFLY HUNT: THE MYSTERY OF THE MIGRATING MONARCHS. Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1990. (48 pages)
For older children; much scientific information, good photographs, charts, illustrations; an outstanding source for those who want more than just the basic life cycle story
Herold, Ann Bixley. THE BUTTERFLY BIRTHDAY. Macmillan, 1991. (46 pages)
Matt collects caterpillars, but is afraid of spiders. He discovers others have fears too.
Hines, Anna Grossnickle. REMEMBER THE BUTTERFLIES. Dutton Children's Books, 1991. (32 pages)
Grandfather who taught grandchildren about butterflies dies; his grandchildren reflect on the special times they shared with him
Hopf, Alice Lightner. MONARCH BUTTERFLIES. Crowell, 1965. (134 pages) [OP]
Detailed information for older children on everything about the Monarch butterfly, including rearing. Some information is rather dated, but the basics are helpful because of the detail not available in most books. No photographs, but some drawings. Very interesting to any devoted fan of Monarchs.
Hutchins, Ross E. SCALY WINGS; A BOOK ABOUT MOTHS AND THEIR CATERPILLARS. Parents' Magazine Press, 1971. (64 pages) [OP]
Josephson, Judith Pinkerton. THE MONARCH BUTTERFLY. Crestwood House (Macmillan), 1988. (47 pages) [OP]
Series: Wildlife Habits and Habitat. Excellent photographs. Contains more text than most. Photos of interest to all.
Kent, Jack. THE CATERPILLAR AND THE POLLIWOG. Prentice-Hall, 1982. (30 pages) [OP]
A polliwog wants to see the caterpillar become a beautiful butterfly and hopes to become one too.
Klass, David. CALIFORNIA BLUE. Scholastic, 1994. (200 pages)
A teen boy wants to save an endangered butterfly, but it could jeopardize his dying father's job at the mill.
*Lasky, Kathryn. MONARCHS. Harcourt Brace & Co., 1993. (63 pages)
Excellent photographs and information, especially on migration to Mexico. Discusses Pacific Grove CA, and Mexican overwintering sites. A unique and outstanding book on Monarchs for Grades 3-6.
Lavies, Bianca. MONARCH BUTTERFLIES: MYSTERIOUS TRAVELERS. Dutton Children's Books, 1992. (Pages not numbered)
Text and photographs describe the physical characteristics, life cycle, migration and study of Monarch butterflies.
Lemmon, Robert Stell. ALL ABOUT MOTHS AND BUTTERFLIES. Random, 1956. (148 pages) [OP]
Excellent, but dated, information for older children; few illustrations. Detailed descriptions of the egg to adult stages for children who want to really delve into the subject.
Lepthien, Emilie U. MONARCH BUTTERFLIES. Children's Press, 1989. (44 pages)
Series: A New True Book {excellent photographs; text for very young readers, very large print}.
May, Julian. THE LIFE CYCLE OF A MONARCH BUTTERFLY. Children's Press, 1973. (31 pages) [OP]
Series: A Creative Education Mini Book {contains 7 photographs of the Monarch life cycle and a map showing the Monarch's U.S. range}.
McClung, Robert M. MOTHS AND BUTTERFLIES AND HOW THEY LIVE. Morrow, 1966. (63 pages) [OP]
Describes the life cycle and body structure of moths and butterflies. Gives hints on collecting.
Mitchell, Robert T. BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS: A GUIDE TO THE MORE COMMON AMERICAN SPECIES. Revised edition. Golden Press, 1987. (160 pages)
Moncure, Jane Belk. BUTTERFLY EXPRESS. Child's World, 1988. (31 pages)
A little girl's butterfly emerges during a snowfall and is sent to California so it can live.
*Norsgaard, E. Jaediker. HOW TO RAISE BUTTERFLIES. Dodd, Mead, 1988. (48 pages) [OP]
Most of the text devoted to raising Monarch butterflies, with a few pages about Black Swallowtails. Excellent photographs, reading level = primary grades.
Pascoe, Elaine. BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS. Blackbirch Press, 1997. (48 pages)
Many excellent photographs. Includes information on raising butterflies and moths. Some simple experiments involving host plant food preferences bring some extra science education into the content.
Politi, Leo. THE BUTTERFLIES COME. Scribner, 1957. (31 pages) [OP]
A little girl visits an overwintering site of Monarchs near her home on the Monterey Peninsula.
*Pringle, Laurence. AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE: THE STORY OF A MONARCH BUTTERFLY. Orchard Books, 1997. (64 pages)
Excellent realistic illustrations, much scientific information in the form of a lengthy story about a monarch's life from egg to adult female, migration from Massachusetts to Mexico, overwintering, and then starting the return journey north in the spring. Brief information on the roosting sites in Mexico and how to raise a monarch. For the older reader, probably grades 3 and up.
*Ring, Elizabeth. NIGHT FLIER. Millbrook Press, 1994. (Pages not numbered)
Terrific photos of the life cycle of the Cecropia moth.
Rotter, Charles. MONARCH BUTTERFLIES. Child's World, 1993. (Pages not numbered)
Contains 14 full-pages color photographs; discusses the life cycle.
Rowan, James P. BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS. Children's Press, 1983. (45 pages)
Series: A New True Book. For very young readers; beautiful photographs, very large print.
*Ryder, Joanne. WHERE BUTTERFLIES GROW. Lodestar Books, 1989. (32 pages)
Told as a story, contains beautiful drawings depicting the life cycle of the Black Swallowtail butterfly. The illustrations will please all ages, and contain many details.
Sandved, Kjell Bloch. THE BUTTERFLY ALPHABET. [photographs] Scholastic, 1996. (Pages not numbered)
Selsam, Millicent Ellis. A FIRST LOOK AT CATERPILLARS. Walker, 1987. (34 pages)
Selsam, Millicent Ellis. TERRY AND THE CATERPILLARS. Harper & Row, 1962. (64 pages) [OP]
Series: A Science I Can Read Book. Terry, a young girl, raises caterpillars to adult moths.
Sterling, Dorothy. CATERPILLARS. Doubleday, 1961. (64 pages) [OP]
Stratton-Porter, Gene. A GIRL OF THE LIMBERLOST. Dell, 1986. (416 pages)
Reprint of a classic early twentieth century novel based on Geneva Stratton-Porter's true life experiences with moths, butterflies, and nature.
*Whalley, Paul. BUTTERFLY & MOTH. Knopf, 1988. (63 pages)
An outstanding pictorial guide to detailed information about butterflies and moths, although many are not found in the USA. For the older reader. Series: Eyewitness Books.
*Wright, Amy Bartlett. PETERSON FIRST GUIDE TO CATERPILLARS OF NORTH AMERICA. Houghton Mifflin, 1993. (128 pages)
A pocket-sized paperback guide to common butterfly & moth caterpillars. Excellent illustrations.
Wuorio, Eva-Lis. THE LAND OF RIGHT UP AND DOWN. World Pub. Co., 1964. (60 pages) [OP]

Our thanks to Laura Mitchell, Reference librarian and amateur Lepidopterist, of Terre Haute, IN for her fine work in compiling this bibliography. Please contact Laura Mitchell if you have suggestions of additional titles that you know are worthwhile. Adult titles are not included in this bibliography.


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