Books about Butterflies for Kids

books about butterflies for kids
Here at Glow Word Books, we love butterflies. It’s cool how they change from caterpillars to cocoons to butterflies… and our son has inherited our love for butterflies, so we thought we’d put together a butterfly book list for kids. It contains some of our favorite butterfly books.

Very Hungry Caterpillar

You might as well start off with the obvious, right? This is a beautifully illustrated book about a caterpillar eating everything in his path. The different sized pages are fun to read.

Recommended for toddlers ages 1-3

Great for children who are just discovering butterflies and caterpillars for the first time.

Butterflies Don’t Chew Bubblegum!

By the end of the book, your kids will be yelling out the repeating chorus: “Butterflies Don’t Chew Bubblegum”. The pages alternate between bugs doing creative things with bubblegum (like playing tug of war or jumping on gum trampolines) and then butterflies definitely not chewing bubblegum. Instead, the butterflies are doing fun activities like riding snails or dancing on an octopus!

Recommended for kids ages 2-5

Great for children who want interactive books that encourage them to say the chorus along with you.

Bob and Otto

This is a charming story about a caterpillar and worm’s friendship. The worm gets very sad that he can’t grow wings like the caterpillar. But then he realizes the caterpillar would never survive without leaves and the worm keeps the soil healthy so the tree will grow leaves. It’s a clever, fun, friendly, lovely book. It does an excellent job of demonstrating how everyone has a place in this world, even if you’ve had a hard time finding it. It may sound a bit crazy to say about a picture book, but it’s almost a tear-jerker.

Recommended for kids ages 4-6

Great for children that like stories about friends or are struggling to find their place.

Glass Wings: A Butterfly’s Story

This is a cute story about a butterfly whose see-through wings take on the appearance of everything she flies by. One day the wind sweeps her into a big city and she wonders how she will eat and survive. With the help of some other bugs, she finds a small plot of land and lives happily in her new garden. The book teaches us that we can navigate and survive a sometimes-scary, new world. The bright splotches of color remind us how butterflies make the world a more beautiful place.

There is a wonderful introductory paragraph about the science behind (real!) glass-winged butterflies.

The book has a few pages about pollution in the city. If the environment is a priority for your kids, you could use this as a starting point for discussing pollution.

Recommended for kids ages 3-5

Great for children that need some reassurance about the scary world or children who are interested in the environment.

Fancy Nancy, Bonjour Butterfly

This book has it all: great illustrations and a wonderful plot. It was definitely one of our favorites. Fancy Nancy loves butterflies so she’s super excited when her best friend invites her to a butterfly party. Unfortunately, her parents take her to Paris instead. However, she’s able to overcome her disappointment and discovers France has butterflies as well! The author does an excellent job of explaining a few basic French words during the story.

Recommended for kids ages 4-7

Great for children that are interested in France or foreign language. Also, better suited for girls than boys.

Butterfly Garden

This is a story about a classroom of kids who watch caterpillars transform into butterflies. It goes through the whole process and feels more “informative” than most of the other books on our list. It has big font for new readers to read on their own, but there are quite a few tough words related to butterflies, so you might want to read it with your child the first time.

Recommended for kids 4+ (or 7+ if they want to read it on their own).

Great for children who are interested in the amazing metamorphosis of a butterfly.

Butterfly Tree

The gorgeous use of language in the book reminds me of poetry. A young girl is trying to figure out what a strange, orange cloud in the sky is. Eventually she realizes the cloud is a group of migrating monarch butterflies. This is definitely the “oldest” book on my list and there is a two-page guide to the butterfly migration at the back of the book.

Recommended for kids ages 8+

Great for children who are interested in butterfly migrations.

Other Butterfly Books For Kids

Red Butterfly: How a Princess Smuggled the Secret of Silk Out of China
This story is told like an old Chinese legend with a beautiful Chinese illustrations. However, it is out of print (when I wrote this) and both my wife and I had a hard time getting into it. It felt like it was written more for teens or adults than children. However, it might be worth a try if your child enjoys butterflies and China.

Worms for Lunch?
This is a fun book discussing what different animals eat (trying to figure out who would eat worms for lunch!) It’s very cute and clever, but it’s not really about butterflies. I included it because it was fun and it would be great if your kid likes all sorts of insects/animals and you wanted a lighter, fun book for them.

Graduation Books for High School Graduates

graduation books hat

When I graduated from high school and college, I got many inspirational, meaningful books that helped me to find my passion in life. Here are some of my favorites…

The Alchemist

An engaging story about finding your passion

In this beautifully written hunt for treasure from Spain to Egypt, Santiago learns to follow his passion, to never give up and that love can be transformative. Our lives are filled with signs that point us do our dreams — all we have to do is listen to them!

Favorite Quotes:
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”
“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

The Alchemist, 197 pages, fiction

The Little Prince

A tearful story about following your heart

This is an endearing story about a pilot who crash lands in the Sahara and meets a curious boy from space while he repairs his plane. With child-like playfulness, the Little Prince talks about space and questions the pilot about being an adult. Through these stories we get a raw view of how many adults lost their way because they were so caught up in the important (but meaningless) details of being an adult. The tender story does not shy away from the loneliness and loss that we are all bound to feel sometime during our life.

Favorite Quotes:
“Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.”
“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”
“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.”

The Little Prince, 96 pages with illustrations, fiction

The Whens

A whimsical picture book about following your smile

The Whens are friendly monsters that illustrate the idea “I’ll be happy when…”. After spending a lifetime searching for the next bigger and better When to finally make him happy, the main character steps off the path and listens to his heart. By following his passion, he realizes he can be happy now.

Favorite Quotes:
“I had almost been fooled into thinking I could find happiness outside of myself.”
“I only listen to my smile”

The Whens, 40 pages, picture book

Oh The Places You’ll Go

Dr. Seuss’ don’t-put-off-your-life rhyme

Through lighthearted rhymes, Dr. Seuss tells the story of a man at the start of his journey to move mountains. He warns about waiting too long to pursue your dream and flat-out says that everyone will have “bang-ups” on their journey… but that’s okay because you have a 98 3/4th chance of succeeding!

Favorite Quote:
“So be sure when you step,
Step with care and great tact.
And remember that life’s
A Great Balancing Act.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed)”

Oh The Places You’ll Go, 56 pages, picture book

Tuesdays With Morrie

Twenty years after graduating, Mitch contacts a former college professor who is dying of a terminal illness. Every Tuesday he meets with Morrie for one final lesson: how to live a happy life. From his deathbed, Morrie inspires Mitch to make the most out of his life.

Favorite Quotes:
“Accept who you are; and revel in it.”
“Love wins, love always wins.”
“Don’t let go too soon, but don’t hold on too long.”

Tuesdays With Morrie, 192 pages, true story