Learn about these amazing insects with these children's books about butterflies and caterpillars.
From tiny eggs, crawling caterpillars, mysterious pupa, to beautiful adults, there are so many science topics to explore in these books!
Why Learn about Butterflies Through Books?
These butterfly picture books are filled with captivating illustrations and facts about these insects. If you are looking to integrate reading into a science unit of study this post is for you!
When reading, children can explore new topics in a fun and engaging way. Sitting down and reading together or independently is a great way for kids to make connections to what they are learning.
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I like to provide my readers with information about how to teach their kids Science. Click on a book title below to skip ahead to the list.
- Why Learn about Butterflies Through Books?
- Topics to Explore
- What Ages are these Books Written for?
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- A Butterfly is Patient
- Caterpillars, Bugs, and Butterflies
- The Very Impatient Caterpillar
- Monarch Butterflies Matter
- Butterfly and Moth
- A Moth and Butterfly Story for Kids
- Moth Children's Books
- An Extraordinary Ordinary Moth
- Downloadable Butterfly Bookmarks
Take a few books outside and read while observing butterflies in their natural habitat. If you nature journal with your kids, bring along the art supplies and draw a sketch from one the books you are reading. Then see if you can spot that butterfly outside in real life.
Moths are also fun for kids to observe outside. After the butterfly books, moth children's books are listed in case you want to learn about moths with your kids.
Topics to Explore
- Different Species of Butterflies
- Caterpillar Identification
- Life Cycle of a Butterfly
- Butterfly Habitats
- Moths vs Butterflies
- Monarch Butterflies
- Caterpillars vs Adult Butterflies
- Fun Facts about Butterflies
The great thing about learning through books is that a few great books will contain more than enough information for your kids.
It may be tempting to pick out as many books as you can about one topic. However, a few high quality books will out preform a so so pile any day.
I personally went through each of these butterfly books for kids to make sure they are educational, accurate, and beautiful. Early readers will naturally contain less information than the other picture books.
For the most well rounded approach pick a few to read with your kids. Each child will have a style of book that they are drawn to more than others. Hopefully this list will give you ideas and inspiration for butterfly books that you can read with your kids.
Butterfly Bookmarks to Color
Make sure to check out the bottom of the post to download three free printable butterfly bookmarks.
Perfect for young readers and butterfly enthusiasts. Black and white images can be colored in using your kid's favorite art supplies.
What Ages are these Books Written for?
- Middle School
Picture books about butterflies really can be used for all ages. Even though a toddler will not understand all of the information, looking at the visual information in a book written for older learners is really valuable.
Whereas a simplified book, such as an early reader may help break down complex information into easy to follow steps for struggling learners. Books are a wonderful resource for teaching science because they are dynamic.
Both little learners and middle school aged kids can learn new things from the same butterfly book. Many informational texts for kids can be used for many years.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carle's book The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a childhood classic. Large bright paintings capture your child's imagination. Learn about the life cycle of a butterfly while counting and identifying foods.
This cute story follows the life cycle of a butterfly from a tiny egg on a leaf to a beautiful adult butterfly. Small pages with cut outs add to the interactive feel of this classic children's book.
For toddlers, there is even a board book version and for little ones, a coloring book also available. This is a wonderful story to introduce your young child to the world of butterflies. A great butterfly story for toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners.
A Butterfly is Patient
Dianna Hutts Aston's book A Butterfly is Patient is packed full with information about butterflies. Sylivia Long's painted illustrations are colorful, eye-catching, and beautiful. I wish this book was around when I was a kid.
The suggested age range for this book is toddlers through early elementary. However, this book contains an enormous amount of science vocabulary that is perfect for even upper elementary and middle school aged kids.
Each double page spread covers a different theme including: butterfly sizes, the importance of butterflies, how they get nutrients, and many more topics.
Throughout the text, the different types of butterflies are painted and labeled with their name. You could design a unit study on butterflies from this book alone if you needed to.
The headings are written in cursive and the overall text is on the smaller side. A fun way to learn about butterflies is to read this book with your young child and discuss what you see. Older learners can read this book independently, but might have questions about some of the words.
Caterpillars, Bugs, and Butterflies
Mel Boring's Take Along Guide to Caterpillars, Bugs, and Butterflies is a wonderful resource for kids. Linda Garrow's illustrations are captivating and go along perfectly with the text.
I like this guide book because it can help kids identify different caterpillars and butterflies that they find outside. A description of what the different species looks like, where to find it, and what it eats is included.
If your young child is interested in bugs besides butterflies including moths, fireflies, crickets, and dragonflies this book contains information about those species as well.
The Very Impatient Caterpillar
Ross Burach's children's book the Very Impatient Caterpillar is a funny story about a caterpillar's journey to becoming a butterfly. This one is written in a comic style and has bright and bold illustrations.
A silly story discusses metamorphosis in a fun way. If you child learns best through comics and funny stories this is a good book for them. Very young children might not understand the book's humor, but older kids will enjoy this book.
If reading aloud with your child, it would be fun to take turns reading the different parts of the two main characters. This book is very popular at our local library where it is almost always checked out.
Make sure to check out the companion book, The Little Butterfly That Cloud.
Monarch Butterflies Matter
Cecilia Pinto McCarthy's book Monarch Butterflies Matter is an information packed text. This book goes beyond the basic facts about monarch's and dives into the importance of these butterflies.
Similar to the Hive Detectives book from the bee books for kids post, this text is written for older children. Learn about how people protect these insects and why they are an important indicator species.
Butterfly and Moth
Paul Whalley's Eyewitness Book, Butterfly and Moth is a detailed guide about all things butterflies and moths. I am huge fan of the Eyewitness Book Series as educational resources for teaching your kids science.
These books are written for kids in elementary and middle school. However, even a preschooler or toddler would enjoy looking at the photographs in this book.
It is so important to expose young kids to a variety of texts even if they can not understand all of the words.
- Woodland Butterflies
- Exotic Butterflies
- Silk Moths
- Migration and Hibernation
- Endangered Species
- and many more
Designed as a guide, a wonderful resource where one section can be looked at at a time. There is also a DVD version to go along with the book.
A Moth and Butterfly Story for Kids
If you are looking for more of a children's storybook, Dev Petty's children's book Moth and Butterfly TA-DA is a good pick. A fun story about two friends, a moth and a butterfly. Ana Aranda's illustrations are bright, colorful, and captivating. This book is perfect for a morning basket or read aloud.
Facts about the life cycle of both moths and butterflies are sprinkled throughout the story. Similar when they are both caterpillars, these two friends discover their differences after their metamorphosis.
If your child enjoys storytelling and creative writing, they will enjoy this book. Our local librarian said kids love hearing this book read out loud.
Moth Children's Books
Nessa Black's book Moths is perfect for young readers. This book is filled with large color photographs of moths. Text is written in easy to read font and in short sentences. A great book for toddlers up to early elementary.
Moth body parts including antennas, spots, mouth, and legs are described in this book. Sometimes informational texts for preschoolers are boring, but kids will really enjoy this book. A short read with beautiful photographs.
An Extraordinary Ordinary Moth
If you are looking for a children's story book about moths, Karin Gray's book An Extraordinary Moth is a wonderful pick.
Written from the point of view of a moth who longs to be like other more beautiful moths. Steliyana Doneva's illustrations are colorful and beautiful.
Like many children's books there is a moral to the story as the moth learns why everyone is unique in their own way. Facts about different moth species are sprinkled in throughout the story.
Hopefully this list provided you with some ideas and inspirations about butterfly books for kids. Learning through books is a wonderful way for your kids to learn science.
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Downloadable Butterfly Bookmarks
As a thank you for being a reader of this blog, don't forget to download your free PDF downloadable bookmarks. Perfect companion to butterfly and moth books for kids.