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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

A Child's Guide to Arctic Butterflies, written by Mia Pelletier and illustrated by Danny Christopher. Inhabit Media, Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2019. $16.95 ages 8 and up

"Fluttering Fact:

No one is quite sure where the word "butterfly" came from. Some say that the buttery yellow colour of European sulphur butterflies was the inspiration for the word "butter--fly." Other stories claim that the word used to be "flutter-by." Some say that witches were thought to take on the shape of butterflies ... "

Did you know there were butterflies in the Arctic? I did not. Now, I do. That is the real appeal of nonfiction for many. By reading well-written, informational text, we learn more about the world we live in.

While there are thousands of different species of butterflies in the natural world, only several dozen of them can be found in the Arctic. They must be tenacious to live in such a climate. Despite the fragility of their wings, they have made adaptations to stay healthy and hearty.

The author begins with an introduction and a comparison of a butterfly and a moth. She then describes a butterfly and its parts before explaining its life cycle.

"In the Arctic, butterflies are usually seen flying in late
June, July, and early August. Vulnerable to predators and
changing weather, most butterflies live short lives of only
a couple of weeks. During this brief time, butterflies must
find a mate, lay their eggs, and begin the cycle anew."

Before introducing a number of species to readers, Ms. Pelletier also explains how they stay warm in such a crisp climate and what they do in the cold of the winter. The twelve double page entries that follow are designed to provide the name, scientific name, wingspan, a clear description, where to look, how they fly, the caterpillar stage, during the winter, and a fluttering fact on the verso. A lovely illustration of each is placed on the recto, showing its coloring and the Arctic background. 

Back matter includes tips for identifying these hardy, delicate creatures, as well as a list for further reading.

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