Cover Image: How to Be a Butterfly

How to Be a Butterfly

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Member Reviews

The illustrations of this book were beautiful though a bit hard to fully see in the electronic format of the ARC I received. My 2 year old was very interested in the different sizes and colors of butterflies and wanted to “flip” through this book for awhile. The text of the book itself wasn’t especially compelling IMO, but also we couldn’t see all of it so I didn’t let that impact my review.
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‘How to Be a Butterfly’ is one of the most visually detailed picture books about butterflies I’ve come across - outside of an academic text. 

Each page is a simple, child-friendly instruction on how to be a butterfly (“You need to be big...or small.” “You need dazzling, bold colors...or subtle, delicate colors.”) 

However, what shines brightest are the ridiculously detailed butterflies soaring across each page. Not only are the colors and wing shapes meticulous, but we also learn the name of each individual insect: Ornithoptera alexandrae, Morpho Menelaus, Cymothoe sangaris, Junonia Octavia, Danaus plexippus. 

While I thoroughly enjoyed the visuals executed beautifully by Catell Ronca, I felt the text was a bit lacking. The simple language was perfect for young readers to understand – especially when explaining changing from a caterpillar to butterfly – in what can be an intricate process. What I found lacking was that it felt just a tiny bit too simple. I can absolutely see where Laura Knowles was coming from when writing her text, I guess I was hoping for...more! More information? More details? Just...more. 

Overall, this is a beautiful & educational book, especially for readers on the younger end of the spectrum – those not quite in school yet. 

Solid Four Star Read

A huge Thank You to NetGalley & Quarto Books for the digital copy to review.
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This book was just okay, but a tad bit simple. Could be useful for little kids, but I really wish it was a bit more creative.
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Thanks to the publishers for sharing this one. It's a great children's book with a lovely message. My full review appears on Weekend Notes.
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Excellent introduction to butterfly, the diversity, and distinguish them from moths. Sparse text with detailed, colorful illustrations make this book a delight for young readers to discover. Excellent addition to classroom, libraries, and STEM reading.
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I first want to say that this is not going to be a complete review. Having tried several apps to read this book, I have been unable to read any of the text. I wanted to leave my review however, because I can see all of the illustrations, which are beautiful. Butterflies are a big part of one of our class topics (Austin's butterfly, lifecycles etc) and so I know that this book will be an excellent addition to the class library.
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Gorgeous, expressive illustrations accompany text that informs as well as inspires in this beautiful, educational look at the world of butterflies. Highly recommended.

4.5 stars 

My thanks to words & pictures and NetGalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Lovely blend of art and information, the kind of book you want to leave open somewhere in sight instead of on a shelf. 

This beautiful book has plenty of details (and butterfly names) to pour over in the illustrations, while keeping the text straightforward and easy to absorb.  Presents a wide variety of contrasts between different kinds of butterflies, challenging young readers to think beyond what they already know about butterflies and explore new possibilities while also explaining the basic life cycle that is common to all butterflies.
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I received this arc from Netgalley for an honest review. An amazing book about what it takes to be a butterfly. I loved this book from the beginning. It’s equal parts fun and informative and interesting. Can’t wait to get my hands on a physical copy
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Mom: I was immediately drawn in by the cover of the book. #judgeabookbythecovereveryday 
The artwork in this book is amazing. I will be purchasing a copy of this book just for the illustrations. 
Beyond the pretty pictures, this book does a wonderful job showing the diversity of butterflies. “To be a butterfly, you need to be BIG!...our you could be small I suppose.” The different sizes, colors, shapes, and talents (camouflage, etc.) throughout the book can be used to accentuate how each of us are different and amazing, as well. 

MC: I liked seeing all the parts of a butterfly. I couldn’t make my own tongue work like a proboscis, though. 

Mom: While offering a fun overview and story of what it takes to be a butterfly, the inclusion of the scientific/Latin names of each butterfly in the book, the variations in appearance, and the life cycle of a butterfly makes this a perfect book to be included in any school or home library.  

MyChild: Our science museum has a lot of the butterflies I saw in this book! 

Stars: 4
Would We Recommend? Yes
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Did you there are 20,000 ways to be a butterfly? This is a striking and visually appealing book. Readers and lookers will be thrilled with the collage of colors and shapes related to butterflies. Did you know that if your antennae look fuzzy, you are not a butterfly, you are a moth. Also if you want to be a butterfly, your proboscis must be long and curly. The book is full if other fun facts throughout. 

I foresee children desiring  this lovely book that is chocked full with vivid illustrations  of a wide variety of butterflies and oh yes a few moths. I also predict this to be a teacher favorite when teaching bugs, insects and life cycles.
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I truly loved every page in this wonderful book. There is so much variety in the pages, some packed full of butterflies, others highlighting a particular feature of a butterfly.

The way the text and illustrations blend together creates a subtle but powerful message to celebrate diversity and not be quick to define what a butterfly must be or not be. The spread before my favourite says:
“To be a butterfly, you have to be BIG! 
…or you could be small, I suppose.” 
[Then there is a spread showing a bold and colourful range of butterflies.]

I adore butterflies so I was desperate to read this book. However, it surpassed my expectations, offering so much more than just an account of the different species and anatomy. It celebrates and showcases the full spectrum of butterflies and makes the “facts” feel fun. I loved it.

I am very grateful to Quarto for providing me with an advanced digital copy via Net Galley of How to be a Butterfly in exchange for an honest review.

** This review will be included in Spotlight Feature including an interview with the illustrator on Saturday 11 May **
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An attractively-presented volume regarding butterflies – and what helps us identify them, as opposed to moths – with a nice simple, uncluttered look.  In detailing the many differences, in subtlety, in wing shape, in chrysalis look and so on, you get some semblance of the 20,000 types out there, and every instance has the scientific binomial as well, in case your teacher's watching.  I didn't think it really needed the second person narrative, however, pointing to us as a potential butterfly.  I'd rate this more for the visuals as a result.
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This was a gorgeously illustrated little book for young children about the Lepidoptera, better known to most as butterflies. Note that Lepidoptera also includes moths, and they get a mention here, but this is primarily all about butterflies. How to be one is a cute round-about way of describing what a butterfly looks like without turning it into a boring list of characteristics. It runs along the lines of you having to have colorful wings with smooth edges, but you can also have pale wings or ones with lobes and scallops. You have to have slim antennae with buds on the end, and so on. And of course you have to drink nectar and lay eggs in safe places on leaves your caterpillars can eat, and then they have to lock themselves up and pupate before they can be beautiful butterflies too.

I was seriously impressed by how much work Catell Ronca did in illustrating scores of butterflies of all kinds. It was epic! There are multiple and endlessly varied butterflies everywhere. It was almost like being in one of those lepidopterarium places where butterflies roam free indoors and breed and live out their unjustly short lives, and you can wander around in the middle of them and enjoy the spectacle! I think this book was excellent: educational, colorful, well-written, interesting and fun. I commend it.
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Butterflies are as unique as you and me, and come in every different color and size. How to Be a Butterfly teaches young children all about these wonderful creatures and how each part of their bodies work together to serve a purpose in the butterfly's daily life.
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I received an electronic ARC from Quarto Publishing Group through NetGalley.
Butterflies soar across each page. Knowles provides information on what makes a butterfly a butterfly. And, just like any other species, the characteristics vary as widely as the subspecies themselves. 
Younger readers will delight in seeing the many types of butterflies and learning about how they are alike and yet unique.
Facts are shared in narrative text.
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How to Be a Butterfly by Laura Knowles is a wonderfully illustrated book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary. This book teaches the reader how to BE a Butterfly and the life cycle of butterflies. I give it a 3 star for writing the text since it seemed to tell the reader one thing then the next page tell the reader another thing...bit odd if you're young and trying to figure things out. 
The illustrations are definitely a 5 star performance! So get the book and just look at the pictures! Nice book!
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How to Be a Butterfly by Laura Knowles was just a beautifully written book. Everyone loves a butterfly and this books tells the story of how the it takes to be a butterfly – their body parts, behaviour, how they work, how butterflies suck nectar, disguise themselves, lay eggs, hatch into larvae, their life cycle, I could not imagine the world without these beautiful insects and give me joy when I see them in my garden etc. 

This book is a must of you are teaching your children about these beautiful insects especially if you make this is a nature game of looking out for them when you are out with you children etc. 

Thank you to #NetGalley and The Quarto Group for letting me read this beautiful book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
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What a super book for children of all ages. Packed full of illustrations of some of the most spectacular and bright butterflies. Ranging in colour from bold to delicate hues and the ability to mask themselves against a tree or flower or appear more than they are.
Every child at school learns the life cycle of a butterfly. These delightful creatures flutter by in jerky moves brightening any day outside by their presence.
It is an injustice that for so long collectors had cases and cabinets filled with these beautiful insects, pinned and dead. While they were engineered from caterpillars to one day fly soundlessly into the air.
No child would not cease to draw immense pleasure from this short book. The younger ones have a simple text the older ones can spot and identify those illustrated and named in Latin. A great educational tool and reference book too.
Even as an older reader I learned a great deal and the book is so much fun.  
             If your antennae look fuzzy, then you are not a butterfly: you’re a moth”.
A delight-coming to a child by your side shortly.
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Written in a playful, engaging manner and lusciously illustrated, How to Be a Butterfly easily and naturally captivated the hearts and imaginations of my young readers. 

This is a wonderful introduction to the rich and diverse world of butterflies, allowing its readers to closely inspect and discover their body parts, unique characteristics and life cycle. There is an incredible depth to each page, from the artfully and carefully painted details, to the addition of the scientific name of each species, giving a chance for further research into any butterfly that particularly captures a child's interest.

My children loved every page of this book, hungrily drinking in every element and pointing out which details caught their eye, marveling over the army of butterflies before them - big and small, vivid and camouflaged.

Knowles and Ronca together have crafted a true treasure full of colour and wide-eyed wonder which would delight any nature-curious child and will be reached for time and time again.
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