How Does a Caterpillar Become a Butterfly?

Next week (July 19-27, 2014) is National Moth Week and what better way to celebrate than with a good book like How Does a Caterpillar Become a Butterfly?: And Other Questions about Butterflies (Good Question!) by Melissa Stewart and illustrated by Annie Patterson?

Why a book about butterflies for moth week? Although moths and butterflies are not the same, many of the details in this book about the caterpillars and about metamorphosis overlap between the two. Also, Stewart includes detailed information about how a butterfly is different than a moth on page 24, with a gorgeous photograph of a luna moth to accompany it. The last reason is that people are more likely to relate to day-flying butterflies than to cryptic moths, so many more books are written about butterflies.

Formulated in a question and answer format, the reader can quickly find information to write a report or satisfy curiosity. For example, do you know why the larval stage of a butterfly or moth is called a caterpillar?

caterpillar-for-postAs Stewart points out, the word caterpillar comes from French words meaning “hairy cat.” Isn’t that so much more poetic than some other scientific terms?

The illustrations are also eye catching. Annie Patterson’s delicate watercolors meld nicely with the fabulous full color photographs that are sprinkled throughout.

How Does a Caterpillar Become a Butterfly? is definitely a great book to have on hand for youngsters interested in nature. Pull it out for units on life cycles, insects or to celebrate National Moth Week!


The Growing with Science website now has information and Hands-On Activities with Butterflies and Moths.

Looking for even more books? Try our freshly updated  list of moth and butterfly books for kids at the Science Books for Kids website.


Age Range: 7 and up
Grade Level: 1 and up
Series: Good Question!
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books (January 7, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1454906669
ISBN-13: 978-1454906667

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 Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. Join us at the new Nonfiction Monday blog.

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