Friday, April 24, 2015

Butterfly Counting

Butterfly Counting
by Jerry Pallotta; illus by Shennen Bersani
32 pages; ages 3-7
Charlesbridge, 2015

theme: counting, butterflies

Opening: "Zero. This Emperor penguin has never seen a butterfly." That's because there are no butterflies on Antarctica.

From one to twenty-five we count butterflies, beginning with one red Zarinda and two Holly Blue butterflies. If you're a fan of Jerry Pallotta bug alphabet books, then you'll have a lot of fun with this one.

What I like love about this book: Each page features a different kind of butterfly PLUS a cool butterfly fact. So by the time you get to the end you know about butterfly mouths and antennae that smell and feet that taste and what the word for butterfly poop is. It's "frass" in case you are wondering.

Pallotta also includes a whole bunch of names for butterflies in foreign languages, like parpar (Hebrew) and kelebek (Turkish). I love it when Pallotta surprises us with different life stages of the butterfly: on one page we're counting eggs, on another we're counting caterpillars, and yet another we're counting chrysalises.

The illustrations are marvelous, giving us so much to see on each page - especially the page filled with caterpillars of all types. And there are even some practical jokes tossed in: a page of moths, a grasshopper, and that penguin.

Beyond the book activities: Grab some colored pencils and a sketchpad and go find some butterflies. Draw as many different kinds of butterflies as you can see - including caterpillars. Make sure you write down the date and where you find them.

Look for butterfly eggs ~  butterflies usually attach their eggs to the underside of leaves, so you'll need to look closely. You might need a handlens because butterfly eggs are tiny. Here are some photos to help you out.

Make Butterflies Foot Prints. You'll need some paint, white cardstock, paint brushes, maybe a plastic tablecloth for the floor, and bare feet. Yours. Here's how to do it.

Make a butterfly you can eat. Out of a pear and some other yummy things. It's a healthy snack, and no butterflies are harmed. Here's how.

Learn how to sign "butterfly" here.

Today's review is part of the STEM Friday roundup. Drop by STEM Friday blog for more science books and resources. We're also joining PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture BooksReview copy from the publisher.


clarbojahn said...

Oh I love Jerry Palotta! And I can't think of anything more fun than counting butterflies. So cheerful. Thanks so much! :)

Manju Howard said...

Sue, thanks for sharing Butterfly Counting. We have a butterfly counting day each year. They are tricky critters to count!

heatherdent56 said...

What a perfect book for spring time! I'm going to reserve this at our library right away!

Patricia T. said...

I have always been fascinated by butterflies and must say I learned some things I didn't know -- like butterflies lay eggs. Now, I'll have to start looking at leaves more closely. This is such a perfect book for kids this spring. Your activities are really great! A lot of fun for kids.

Sarah @ Share it! Science News said...

I use many Jerry Pallotta books with my students. Looks like a great one for when our preschoolers release the butterflies that are now caterpillars growing in their classroom.

Lindsey McDivitt at A is for Aging said...

Butterfly poop! I know I'd learn a ton from this great book! Anything promoting butterflies is terrific in my opinion. Thanks Sue.
Lindsey at

The Picture Book Review said...

I'm new to Jerry Pallotta's books. My littlest one loves counting books and butterflies. This one sounds perfect for us! Thank you for the great review!

Wendy said...

This reminds me to plant more milkweed for the monarch butterflies this year. It was in my head, now on my list along with this book. :)

Rosi said...

This looks like a charming read. Thanks for the review.

Jilanne Hoffmann said...

Butterfly poop! Where is Mike Allegra (HeyLookAWriterFellow)? He loves scatological references. LOL

Love the vibrant colors. And yes, our kinder learn about butterflies every year. Will look at this to add to our school library. Thanks!

Keila V. Dawson said...

Definitely sounds like a great springtime read. Thanks for sharing!