Friday, September 18, 2020

Butterflies Belong Here!

As summer comes to an end, I’ve noticed tons of butterflies flitting around my garden and along the roadside: Monarchs, cabbage butterflies, sulfurs, blues, checkered, and cute, fuzzy skippers.

theme: butterflies, nature, environment

Butterflies Belong Here: A Story of One Idea, Thirty Kids, and a World of Butterflies 
by Deborah Hopkinson; illus. by Meilo So
68 pages; ages 5-8
Chronicle Books, 2020

Last spring, we took a class picture… I was a little like a caterpillar then: quiet and almost invisible.

When a girl moves to a new home, she learns all about monarch butterflies. But when she looks for them in the gardens of her neighborhood, they are hard to find. She hears about way stations – gardens filled with plants that monarchs like – and wonders if she could plant a way station at the school. All it takes is one person with an idea, says the librarian.

What I like about this book: I like that the main character, who remains unnamed, feels empowered enough to lead a class project in planting a monarch garden. It requires a plan, a presentation, and persistence. Planting flowers can sound so simple and small – but when it’s done to make the world a better place for butterflies, it’s huge. Back matter includes a guide to making a monarch way station, monarch facts, and resources for monarch activists of all ages.

Beyond the Books:

Do Monarch butterflies live in your neighborhood? Look for orange and black butterflies flitting around or nectaring at flowers. Then look closer to make sure it’s really a monarch. Here’s how to tell whether you’ve got a monarch.

Make a plan for planting a monarch way station. If you need some help, check out these articles here and here.

Draw or paint a picture of a monarch butterfly. Take a close look at its wings. Are they tattered? Maybe your monarch has been flying south for days.

Monarchs migrate in the fall. You can track the migration here.

Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by the publisher.


  1. So true. All it takes is one person with an idea to start the ball rolling, to make things happen. The eco team at my son's old elementary school would come up with ideas like these. They planted a butterfly garden in their playground.

  2. This sounds lovely. How interesting to leave the MC unnamed. I imagine that will help a lot more kids to relate. I will check this out. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. Great cover & internal spread. I cn't wait to get a hold of this one. That's for the awesome introduction, Sue.

  4. I love Monarch butterflies and followed their migration across Lake Erie to Peru back in a newspaper/magazine article I wrote -- back in the 70s. So I love seeing books for kids about Monarchs and all butterflies.