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Butterflies: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about butterflies?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to butterflies. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about butterflies.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about butterflies, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Where’s My Mom? to popular sellers like The Very Hungry Caterpillar to some of our favorite hidden gems like Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly.

We hope this list of kids books about butterflies can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

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Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly
Written by Alan Madison & illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Velma starts first grade in the shadow of her memorable older sisters, and while her newfound interest in butterflies helps her to stand out, it also leads to an interesting complication.

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Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead
Written by Judy Goldman & illustrated by Rene King Moreno and Judy Goldman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A family celebrates Día de Muertos, a holiday for remembering those who have passed. When the monarch butterflies return to her Mexican countryside, Lupita knows that Día de Muertos, “the Day of the Dead,” is near. She and her favorite uncle watch the butterflies flutter in the trees. When a butterfly lands on Lupita’s hand, her uncle reminds her that she should never hurt a monarch because they are believed to be the souls of the departed. Lupita and her family get ready for the holiday. When the first of November arrives, the family will go to the cemetery to honor the memories of their loved ones. But this year is different—Lupita’s uncle cannot join them. Now, Lupita learns the true meaning of the celebration.

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Claudia & Moth
Written & illustrated by Jennifer Hansen Rolli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

A small girl with a passion for nature turns to her new passion for art as the seasons turn colder.

Claudia loves butterflies. Blue ones. Yellow ones. Purple ones with dots. And since she can’t take them home, she paints them in all their beautiful colors.

But when winter comes, there are no more butterflies to paint…until she finds a little moth. Suddenly, Claudia sees winter in a whole new light.

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Follows the progress of a hungry little caterpillar as he eats his way through a varied and very large quantity of food until, full at last, he forms a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep. Die-cut pages illustrate what the caterpillar ate on successive days.

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Caterpillar Dreams
Written & illustrated by Clive McFarland
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The Very Hungry Caterpillar meets Giraffes Can’t Dance in this sweet coming of age story about finding one’s courage. All Henri the Caterpillar has is a dream. It’s an amazing, incredible, impossible dream. And to chase it, Henri will have to leave the safety of his garden and embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Written and illustrated by the award-winning creator of A Bed for Bear, Clive McFarland, Caterpillar Dreams is the inspiring story of what can happen when you dare to believe in yourself.

Fly Flies book
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Caterpillar and Bean book
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Señorita Mariposa book
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Butterflies on the First Day of School book
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  • Fly Flies - Fly just wants to have fun flying, but everyone she meets thinks she’s doing it all WRONG! Fly is happily practicing her flying in the park, doing some wibbles and some wobbles and some waveys. Blackbird, Seagull, Starling and Hawk take turns giving Fly advice about the best way to fly; fly in a straight line, glide on the wind, fly in a flock, dive onto your food…. Fly tries to take their advice on board, but each time finds that this is not HER way to fly. With a sweet, witty twist at the end, this is a delightful book about staying true to yourself in the face of people who insist they know better.

  • Caterpillar and Bean - Observe the ways plants and insects interact in a gentle introduction to growing for budding scientists. What’s that wedged in a crack in the ground, small and hard and wrinkly and brown? A bean seed! Soon it develops roots and leaves. And what’s that on the leaf? An egg! The egg hatches a caterpillar, and the caterpillar eats the leaves, getting bigger and bigger until it forms a chrysalis. Meanwhile, the plant is growing, too: it develops flowers, then bean pods, as it reaches up toward the sun. Side by side, plant and insect grow . . . and grow . . . and grow throughout the year, until they come full circle. This fourth book in the First Science Storybook series uses simple, clear language and colorful illustrations to inspire very young readers as they learn about life cycles.

  • Señorita Mariposa - A captivating and child-friendly look at the extraordinary journey that monarch butterflies take each year from Canada to Mexico; with a text in both English and Spanish. Rhyming text and lively illustrations showcase the epic trip taken by the monarch butterflies. At the end of each summer, these international travelers leave Canada to fly south to Mexico for the winter–and now readers can come along for the ride! Over mountains capped with snow, to the deserts down below. Children will be delighted to share in the fascinating journey of the monarchs and be introduced to the people and places they pass before they finally arrive in the forests that their ancestors called home.

  • Butterflies on the First Day of School - Rosie’s excited to start kindergarten—she’s had her backpack ready for weeks. But suddenly, the night before the big day, her tummy hurts. Rosie’s mom reassures her that it’s just butterflies in her belly. Much to Rosie’s surprise, when she greets a new friend, a butterfly flies out of her mouth! Soon, Rosie frees all her butterflies . . . and helps another shy student release hers, too.

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We're Going on a Bear Hunt: Let's Discover Bugs
Written & illustrated by Andrea Cascardi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Enticing and educational guides to our feathered friends and all things creepy-crawly, featuring artwork from the We’re Going On a Bear Hunt animated special. Ants, spiders, and butterflies, oh my! Readers will learn about all sorts of bugs and insects in this guide for eager young entomologists. Whether the plan is to scour the house for crawling critters or venture out on a big bug hunt, this book is teeming with information on where to search for bugs, how to plan an excursion, and more — including buggy activities and stickers.

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Hedgehugs and the Hattiepillar
Written by Steve Wilson & illustrated by Lucy Trapper
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

In this sequel to Hedgehugs, Horace and Hattie return for another sweet story of friendship. It’s spring! And everything is colorful—rainbows in the sky and flowers blossoming on trees. When Horace and Hattie Hedgehog see a caterpillar become a butterfly and take flight, they decide to try a transformation of their own. When these two best friends put their minds to solving a problem, nothing can stand in their way!

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Are You a Cat?
Written & illustrated by Coll Muir
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the creator of Can Cat and Bird Be Friends comes a delightful story featuring an adorable cat and an inquisitive dog.

Dogs chase cats. Everyone knows this, especially cats.

When Dog wants to chase Cat, he politely asks, “are you a cat?”

To outrun and outsmart Dog, Cat pretends to be other animals that dogs wouldn’t ordinarily want to chase. It’s a masterful plan indeed. But when an unexpected creature walks by, it’s impossible for Cat to play pretend for much longer.

In a charming picture book filled with pleasing banter and hilarious quips, rising talent Coll Muir creates the perfect story about staying true to yourself.

Perfect for fans of Jon Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back, This Is Not My Hat, and We Found a Hat.

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Moth
Written by Isabel Thomas & illustrated by Daniel Egneus
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Powerful and visually spectacular, Moth is the remarkable evolution story that captures the struggle of animal survival against the background of an evolving human world in a unique and atmospheric introduction to Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection. “This is a story of light and dark…” Against a lush backdrop of lichen-covered trees, the peppered moth lies hidden. Until the world begins to change… Along come people with their magnificent machines which stain the land with soot. In a beautiful landscape changed by humans how will one little moth survive? A clever picture book text about the extraordinary way in which animals have evolved, intertwined with the complication of human intervention. This remarkable retelling of the story of the peppered moth is the perfect introduction to natural selection and evolution for children.

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Binkle's Time to Fly
Written by Sharmila Collins & illustrated by Carolina Rabei
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Binkle cant wait until he turns from caterpillar to butterfly. Hell finally have strong, beautiful wings to take him high into the sky! But when the day comes, something is terribly wrong. Why are Binkles wings so wispy and weak? How will he ever fly like the other butterflies if his wings are nothing like theirs?

Yet with some help and creativity, maybe theres more than one way to fly . . .

As this charming, gorgeously illustrated story reminds us, life can present us with unwelcome challenges, but inventive alternatives and the support of others can make all the difference.

Summer Birds book
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Caterpillar to Butterfly book
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Ten Magic Butterflies book
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Where's My Mom? book
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  • Summer Birds - Documents the work of a young girl, Maria Merian, who lived during the Middle Ages and disproved the theory of spontaneous generation by observing caterpillars as they spun cocoons and emerged as butterflies and moths in the spring. By the author of the Newbery Honor Book, The Surrender Tree.

  • Caterpillar to Butterfly - How does a caterpillar become a butterfly? Open out the petal-shaped pages, one by one, and watch a transformation unfold. First there’s a tiny egg on a leaf, then a caterpillar hatching, just big enough to see. Look at the caterpillar munching away, growing and shedding layers of skin so it can grow some more. Follow as it spins a thread into a green and golden chrysalis, hanging in the sun. Are you ready to see a glorious transformation when all the page turns are done? Cleverly leading readers through each stage of the caterpillar’s life cycle, Caterpillar to Butterfly is sure to set curiosity into flight.

  • Ten Magic Butterflies - Fairies, butterflies, and magic help to make this math-focused board book from the “New York Times”-bestselling author of “Goodnight, Numbers” and star of “The Wonder Years” positively enchanting! Full color.

  • Where's My Mom? - A butterfly tries to help a lost young monkey find its mother in the jungle, meeting many different animals along the way.

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Billy Bunny and the Butterflies
Written & illustrated by Maurice Pledger
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A one-of-a-kind adventure with Billy Bunny! Billy Bunny is on an adventure, looking for butterflies. He looks here and there and—well—everywhere, and bumps into various forest friends along the way. Travel along with Billy Bunny in this lift-a-flap journey and see what pops up around every twist and turn! Billy Bunny and the Butterflies is a charming story full of captivating illustrations that children will love.

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Butterflies in Room 6
Written & illustrated by Caroline Arnold
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Kindergarteners raise butterflies from egg to adult in this close-up look at the insect life cycle. Follow a classroom of real kindergartners as they participate in a popular activity: raising butterflies. Astonishing photographs show the life cycle of the painted lady butterfly, from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to adult. Engaging text captures the children’s wonder and explains the science behind metamorphosis.

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Social Butterfly
Written by Beth Bracken & illustrated by Sofia Cardoso
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Charlotte loves playing and talking with her friends, but very often she plays and talks too much, and at school she has to learn that sometimes it is necessary to listen and let her friends and teacher do the talking.

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Counting Sheep: Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet
Written & illustrated by Jacqueline Kelly
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

In rural Texas in 1901, thirteen-year-old Callie nurses a butterfly with a broken wing and delivers a baby lamb, despite her mother’s disapproval of Callie’s “unladylike behavior.”

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The Icky Bug Counting Board Book
Written by Jerry Pallotta & illustrated by Ralph Masiello
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Introduces the characteristics and activities of insects and spiders from one zebra butterfly to twenty-six army ants.

Willbee the Bumblebee book
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10 Blue Butterflies book
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Butterfly Colors and Counting book
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Butterfly Counting book
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  • Willbee the Bumblebee - A catchy rhyme with endearing illustrations that will leave you buzzing! “With his new jersey on, he got back his hum, all his bits were warmed up… even his bum!” From the bestselling author and illustrator behind the million-copy The Wonky Donkey book comes Willbee the Bumblebee, a catchy rhyme with endearing illustrations that will leave you buzzing! Willbee the bumblebee is so embarrassed when he realizes that his black-and-yellow jacket has caught on a rose thorn and completely unraveled, showing his bare bum! With help from Monica the butterfly and Steve the spider, Willbee recovers his jacket and is back to buzzing around the garden in no time.

  • 10 Blue Butterflies - Try to spy the small, colorful animals hidden inside the big pictures! Can you find 1 red ladybug nestled among hundreds of multicolored ladybugs? How about 2 orange fish or 6 brown bears? And since chameleons hide everywhere, can you count how many are concealed among the other animals throughout the book? Sam Williams’ stunning, bright illustrations make this a wonderful search and counting book to teach and enjoy.

  • Butterfly Colors and Counting - Ten species of butterflies from around the world are depicted to invite young readers to practice recognizing colors and counting from one to ten.

  • Butterfly Counting - Count from one to twenty-six and learn about the many different kids of butterflies in the world. Gorgeous art by Shennen Bersani brings these beautiful insects to life, and Jerry Pallotta’s signature humor and amazing facts make this a great read for all ages.

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