A Butterfly is Patient

Our caterpillars arrived last week.  I love raising caterpillars/butterflies.  It's one of my many favourite parts of the kindergarten year.

A box labelled, FRAGILE, LIVE SPECIMENS  was delivered to the classroom Tuesday afternoon. The grade 7 delivery boy knew exactly what was in the box.  But the kidlets didn't.

What's in the box.

Please don't shake it.

There are baby caterpillars in there.

Put the box down.  

Give me a minute.  Could you please get my teacher scissors.  Walk.

See, they are in this container.

I will put them into their own containers after school.  

Yes, The are tiny.

Yes.  They will get bigger.

In a few weeks they will be butterflies.  

But first they are caterpillars for a bit.

I was looking for a book about caterpillars to show the kidlets.  I know that butterflies are the main attraction, but I think that caterpillars are a bit overlooked.  Something we have to get through before we can have butterflies.  I wanted to find some way of sharing with the kidlets that caterpillars are pretty cool in their own right. I found a book that fit the bill. 

A Butterfly is Patient
author: Dianna Hutts Aston
illustrator: Sylvia Long
publisher: Chronicle Books (2011)
informational picture book
theme: caterpillars and butterflies
age range 6-10
beginning lines
It begins as an egg underneath an umbrella of leaves, protected from rain, hidden from creatures that might harm it ... until the caterpillar inside chews free from its egg-casing, tiny, wingless, hungry to grow. 

Starting with the egg, A Butterfly is Patient takes the reader through the butterfly life cycle, focusing on various interesting butterfly facts. 

why I like this book
I was looking for caterpillars, so the first thing that caught my eye and imagination was the inside cover of the book.

Beautifully illustrated and detailed pictures of a variety of caterpillars filled the page.  I projected the pictures onto a screen, and the kids were amazed at the spikes and hairs and colours of some of the caterpillars.  

Here are some of our favourites.

The rest of the book carries on with interesting facts that kids take pleasure in remembering - eating and drinking habits, navigation patterns and even poisonous butterflies. 

The illustrations are spectacular and compliment the text perfectly.  They are incredibly detailed , yet still simple and uncluttered.  They invite investigation and stimulate curiosity.

Publishers Weekly Starred Review summed it up nicely:  A lovely mixture of science and wonder.

Raise caterpillars.  We ordered ours from a school science supply company.  

Check out other books about caterpillars. Click on the covers to find more about the books.

Enjoy some caterpillar art. 

There are lots and lots of fabulous art activities for the Very Hungry Caterpillar.  But that is another book! 

Check out these un-hungry caterpillar art ideas.

thumb print caterpillars from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas

toe print caterpillars from Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk

accordian fold caterpillar from Born free mum and dad
great small motor co-ordination and spacial awareness practice

 a caterpillar snack from Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons

I must have a thing for caterpillars.  Maybe they are the underdog stage in the butterfly life cycle.  

Last year I reviewed a different book about caterpillars.  Click on the book cover. It's a fabulous book.



  1. What a beautiful book, Sandi. Excellent choice for PPBF. I loved waiting around for the caterpillar to turn into a butterfly and had swan plants at home, as a kid. (The only pet I was allowed :))

  2. Great post, Sandi!! We're not doing butterflies this year, but I"m going to pin and save for next year. Thanks:)

  3. I had forgotten about this wonderful book!!It is just perfect. Thank you for featuring it Liz :)

  4. I love this book. Your activities are wonderful as usual. I think it would be great fun to paint kids toes to make caterpillars. They'd love being barefoot in school too.

    First in Maine

  5. I love all of her books! They are so beautiful. I recently read to the kids A Seed is Sleepy. And they also enjoy An Egg is Quiet - we use these books too as a way to demonstrate how we start asking questions when we read. Her little tidbits of information are a great springboard.
    The Meek Moose
    The Meek Moose on TpT

  6. I am in love with your activities!!! And thanks so much for including pages from the book. They are just fantastic. Thanks for the great review.


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