15 Enchanting Children’s Books About Butterflies

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April 2022

Spring is here, and with it, new life and vibrancy in the air. Plenty of insects can be found roaming outside, from ladybugs, to spiders, ants, and perhaps the most beautiful: majestic butterflies! Below are butterfly books for kids all about the striking winged insects that wander the skies as the weather grows warmer.

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girl in white holding black butterfly

Children’s Picture Books about Butterflies

Butterflies are wonderful vibrant creatures that can teach us so much about the natural world. Their elegance and grace are as alluring as the stories that surround their growth and migration. Here are some of our favorite picture books packed with scientific facts, illuminating illustrations, and engaging plots about butterflies.

A Butterfly is Patient Book Cover
A Butterfly is Patient Book Cover

A Butterfly is Patient 

Diana Hutts Aston
Book Type: Picture
More Information: Google Books | Amazon
Full of wondrous detailed descriptions of all different types of butterflies, this picture book follows the life cycle of the insect. Beginning with its time in a cocoon to when it blossoms into a gorgeous winged creature, the narrative is full of illuminating scientific facts about butterflies. Discover a wide variety of butterflies displayed in beautiful illustrations. A Butterfly is Patient teaches an important lesson about waiting and the timing of nature. 

From the same author that brought beautiful nature books such as An Egg is Quiet and A Seed is Sleepy comes this gentle story about the lives of butterflies. This is a great book for the little scientist in your house. It is the perfect mix of creative and informative. Detailed illustrations will captivate little eyes, and fun, informative facts that introduce all different species of butterflies will engage little ones and parents alike.

The Butterfly House Book Cover
The Butterfly House Book Pages

The Butterfly House

Eve Bunting 
Book Type: Picture
More Information: Google Books | Amazon
A little girl discovers a larva in her backyard and rescues it from a hungry bluejay. With some help from her grandfather, she constructs a home for the little creature, and observes as it grows and eventually morphs into a butterfly. Just as the butterfly grows and leaves home, so does the little girl. Eventually, she grows into an old woman herself, but the butterflies return year after year to remind her of the importance of home and belonging. 

We love this touching story about caring for animals. The little girl and her grandfather share a close bond that she carries with her throughout her life, and as she encounters the butterflies each year, she remembers how special it was to work together as a family to protect the little larvae in its vulnerability. This is a joyful and endearing narrative with soft, painted illustrations that presents a great story about the circle of life and the beauty of family.

Butterfly Park Book Cover
Planting a Rainbow Book Cover

Butterfly Park

Elly MacKay
Book Type: Picture
More Information: Google Books | Amazon
A little girl moves from her home in the country to a new city, and stumbles upon a place called Butterfly Park. Much to her chagrin, the girl finds no butterflies in the park! She truly misses seeing the beautiful butterflies in the country and vows that she will do whatever it takes to draw butterflies back to the empty park. She brings together her community, planting flowers and luring the creatures back to their home. 

What a wonderful book with lovely illustrations. Elly MacKay creates a sweet story with unique paper-cut artwork that kids and parents will enjoy. Butterfly Park also teaches a useful lesson about joining a new community and making a new home your own. This little girl’s experience herding butterflies will inspire little readers to explore the beauty of nature and pursue what interests them. 

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science Book Cover
The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science Book Pages

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science

Joyce Sidman
Book Type: Picture
More Information: Google Books | Amazon
Learn about the amazing life of Maria Merian, one of the world’s first female entomologists. Through pursuing her passion for art, Maria spent her career studying insects and observing the metamorphosis of butterflies as they progressed from various stages. Maria’s unparalleled curiosity and dedication led to much innovation in the way we understand insects today. Each section of this biographical picture book begins with a title and poem, including “Egg,” “Hatching,” and “Molting,” to denote the stages of a butterfly’s development as the reader learns about Maria’s life and work. 

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies explores the impactful work of a female scientist and artist that will certainly inspire young readers to pursue their own passions and dreams. Lovely poetic text, an impactful narrative structure, and illustrations from Maria’s own work make this book a fun and informative read.

Ten Magic Butterflies Book Cover
Ten Magic Butterflies Book Pages

Ten Magic Butterflies

Danica McKellar 
Book Type: Picture
More Information: Google Books | Amazon
Fairies and magic flowers that turn into butterflies make math fun in this colorful book! Ten little flowers wish with all their might to turn into beautiful butterflies. After being changed from blossoms to insects with the help of some magic, they realize that while it was fun to fly for a while, they didn’t mind being flowers after all. 

This book is perfect for introducing little ones to foundational math concepts. Statistician and actress Danica McKellar presents a wonderful opportunity for teaching littles all about math in her children’s books, and Ten Magic Butterflies  is no exception! Engaging rhyming text and vibrant illustrations will keep little ones asking to read this counting book over and over again.

monarch butterfly on flower

Children’s Books About Monarch Butterflies

When you think of butterflies, you’re bound to think of little orange creatures with v-shaped markings and white dots on their wings. The Monarch butterfly is one of the most distinct and easily recognizable butterfly species, known for its grand migration from North to South America, which occurs each fall. These books feature this iconic butterfly and will teach your kids all about what makes the Monarch so special.

Waiting for Wings Book Cover
Waiting for Wings Book Pages

Waiting for Wings

Lois Ehlert 
Book Type: Board
More Information: Google Books | Amazon
Each spring, Monarch butterflies emerge from their cocoons and search the earth for blossoming flowers. But how did those butterflies come to be? And how did they grow from eggs to beautiful orange insects with wings? And where are they headed next? This sweet illustrated book teaches little readers all about the life cycle of a monarch butterfly. 

Classic children’s author Lois Ehlert describes the beauty of monarchs in her simply illustrated book. Perfect for little hands, each page invites exploration and discovery of the natural process of growth monarchs undergo, and explains the journey these vibrant creatures take to be seen. Rhymes and bright colors make a great reading experience for the littlest of readers at story time.

Señorita Mariposa Book Cover
Señorita Mariposa Book Pages

Señorita Mariposa

Ben Gundersheimer
Book Type: Picture
More Information: Google Books | Amazon
Learn all about the miracle of migration in this story about Monarchs! Text and verse in English and Spanish narrate the journey Monarch butterflies take from Canada to Mexico each season. These butterflies pass all different landscapes and meet all sorts of people along the way. This book will inspire littles to join in the rhyming fun and sing the song of the Monarchs for themselves. 

What a lovely tribute Señorita Mariposa is to the journey made by Monarch butterflies each year. The bilingual text, bright illustrations, and Monarch facts peppered throughout the story make a wonderful family read. Kids and their parents will learn all about what it takes to make a long journey and discover the wonder of the butterfly’s trek across the continent.

Velma Gratch & the Way Cool Butterfly Book Cover
Velma Gratch & the Way Cool Butterfly Book Pages

Velma Gratch & the Way Cool Butterfly

Alan Madison 
Book Type: Picture
More Information: Google Books | Amazon
First grader Velma Gratch wants to be different from her two older sisters. They were the perfect first graders! When her class takes a trip to the way cool butterfly conservatory, she has the chance to stand apart. A monarch butterfly chooses Velma’s hand to perch on for three days straight! Just like the Monarch, Velma undergoes a transformation of her own in this fun story. 

We love this book for its relatable theme. It teaches kids an important lesson about individuality and finding yourself, especially if you’re a younger sibling. Velma’s special interaction with a monarch butterfly serves as a subtle metaphor for the growth kids experience while growing up and learning who they are and who they might become. What a sweet story of transformation!

Monarch Butterfly Book Cover
Monarch Butterfly Book Pages

Monarch Butterfly

Gail Gibbons 
Book Type: Picture
More Information: Google Books | Amazon
Follow along as this Monarch butterfly grows and develops. He’ll go from a baby egg to a fully grown insect with wings! First, he hatches from his egg, then grows and grows as a caterpillar, then folds himself into a cocoon, and lastly takes a migration journey. Little ones will learn all about the Monarch experience in this scientific read. 

This is a great book for little readers, complete with bright watercolor illustrations. One aspect we especially love is that the big words are spelled out phonetically to help little minds understand. Gail Gibbons’ classic style and the inclusion of an informative Monarch diagram ensure this book will be a family favorite.

Hurry and the Monarch Book Cover

Hurry and the Monarch

Antoine O. Flatharta
Book Type: Picture
More Information: Google Books | Amazon
Hurry the Tortoise meets a Monarch butterfly on her migration from Canada to Mexico. She tells Hurry “maybe one day you’ll break out of that shell, grow wings, and fly away.” Yet, before he knows it, she has continued on her journey. Little does Hurry know that she’ll be back again in the spring to lay her eggs in Hurry’s garden. 

Hurry and the Monarch is a touching story about the power of an unlikely friendship. Little readers will better understand the 2,000 mile journey that Monarch butterflies make each year and the transformation butterflies take to blossom into the beautiful creatures that take flight. One of our favorite things about this narrative is the inclusion of scientific butterfly facts at the end of the story.

green caterpillar on leaf

Children’s Books About Caterpillars and Butterflies

What makes butterflies so fascinating to study? Each butterfly starts out tiny, then grows and grows into a caterpillar, and eventually spends time in a cocoon before emerging as a creature that can fly! Kids can learn so much by reading a book that features butterflies if they are learning about metamorphosis in school, and the transition process is certainly mesmerizing. These children’s books focus on the development of butterflies and what life looks like before wings. 

 My, Oh My—A Butterfly Book Cover
 My, Oh My—A Butterfly Book Pages

My, Oh My—A Butterfly

Tish Rabe 
Book Type: Picture
More Information: Google Books | Amazon
There’s a miracle happening right in Sally and Dick’s backyard! Learn about the process of how a caterpillar comes to be a beautiful butterfly. Starting off as an egg, these creatures undergo metamorphosis until they become caterpillars that eat leaves and, eventually, butterflies that drink nectar. This book is a great introduction to the life cycle of these fascinating insects. 

Who better to tell the story of a butterfly’s life than the lovable Cat in the Hat? We appreciate this book’s adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ writing style, including memorable rhyming text and easy-to-follow pictures. My, Oh My A Butterfly is a great picture book about butterflies that will make a lovely addition to any insect enthusiast’s library.

Flutterby Butterfly: A Slide and Seek Book Cover
Flutterby Butterfly: A Slide and Seek Book Pages

Flutterby Butterfly: A Slide and Seek Book

Hannah Wilson 
Book Type: Board
More Information: Google Books | Amazon
Flutterby the Butterfly has gone missing! Where could she have disappeared to? Search underneath the shell and behind the leaves and meet all different creatures, including Curly Caterpillar! There are a lot of different creatures to be found in this board book. 

This is a great book for teaching littles how to identify different insects and animals, including butterflies and caterpillars! Made especially for toddlers’ hands, the interactive component of the story will make reading time fun. Kids will enjoy this interactive story and learn plenty along the way.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Book Cover
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Book Pages

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Eric Carle 
Book Type: Board
More Information: Google Books | Amazon
This classic tale is a must-have for any bookshelf. A very hungry caterpillar must find food as it prepares to turn into a butterfly. He goes through apples and pears and oranges, but is it enough? Join the very hungry caterpillar and talk about numbers, time, and days of the week with your child as you enjoy Eric Carle’s iconic illustration style and his imaginative storyline.

We love The Very Hungry Caterpillar because of its sweet illustrations that invite little ones to follow along and ask questions. Parents will remember this classic story from their own childhood, which makes it the perfect book to introduce to little readers. Kids will enjoy identifying all the different foods and giggling along as the caterpillar grows bigger and bigger!

Caterpillar Dreams  Cover
Caterpillar Dreams Pages

Caterpillar Dreams

Clive MacFarland 
Book Type: Picture
More Information: Google Books | Amazon
Henri the caterpillar has a dream to see the world in flight! Soon, he embarks on a fantastical adventure to do just that. All it takes is leaving the safety of the garden Henri has always known. He meets all kinds of fun creatures along the way, including a robin, a mole, and a fish. By the end of the story, Henri sees the world from above in a hot air balloon, and readers can only imagine what happens next. 

Caterpillar Dreams is a lovely story of adventure. Henri’s reliance on new friends to help him along his journey teaches kids that we all needs help achieving our goals. His curiosity reminds readers to be open to adventure and embrace new experiences in life. This book is a lively and fun read for all! 

Gotta Go! Gotta Go!  Cover
Gotta Go! Gotta Go!  Pages

Gotta Go! Gotta Go!

Sam Swope
Book Type: Picture
More Information: Google Books | Amazon
“I don’t know much, but I know what I know. I gotta go! I gotta go! I gotta go to Mexico!” This little bug is on a mission to head south, and she’s taking her time to get there. It seems like it will take forever, until a miraculous transformation occurs. Finally, she makes it to her destination, but not without a big change along the way! 

This book is a silly tale of a caterpillar on a big journey. Its colorful illustrations bring the grand journey Monarch butterflies take each year to life. The story’s upbeat narrative and catchy rhythm will stick with little readers. Little ones are sure to enjoy the story of this little bug on a big trip.

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