A Place for Butterflies by Melissa Stewart 

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A Place for Butterflies by Melissa Stewart 

Stewart, Melissa. A Place for Butterflies. Peachtree, 2014 (reprint). ISBN 978-1561457847 32 pp. $7.99

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This environmental book about the threat of extinction to numerous butterfly species in North and South America focuses on things humans can do to foster the growth of local butterfly populations. Each two page spread narrows in on one specific species, such as the Karner Blue or Schaus Swallowtail.

The primary text is a generality, such as “some butterflies are harmed by X. When people stop X, butterflies can live and grow.” A sidebar gives more information on the particular species. No book about these winged creatures would be complete without a  depiction of the life stages of a butterfly, and Stewart and Higgins don’t disappoint, providing a clean description illustrated with clear images. The conservationist message isn’t subtle, but it is effective and accessible to young audiences. A bibliography of resources for young explorers includes books and a government website. A teaching guide is available on the publisher’s website at http://www.peachtree-online.com/Kids/PDF/placeforbutterflies.pdf.

Lushly decorated pages capture the climate and topography of southern Florida, the Pacific Northwest, the eastern woodlands, and nine other locations. Plants and animals indigenous to each area are carefully detailed. The endpapers are decorated with maps showing the habitat of each of the 12 species covered in the book. MA librarians will especially appreciate some of the localities in the book (Worcester MA’s butterfly friendly fields are featured) and that the title fits nicely with the 2006 statewide summer reading program theme, what’s buzzin’ at your library.

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