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Butterflies, Moths And Caterpillars: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about butterflies, moths and caterpillars?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to butterflies, moths and caterpillars. 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, moths and caterpillars.

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, moths and caterpillars, 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, moths and caterpillars 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.

Mrs. Peanuckle's Bug Alphabet
Written by Mrs. Peanuckle & illustrated by Jessie Ford
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Mrs. Peanuckle’s Bug Alphabet introduces babies and toddlers to all sorts of interesting bugs. Perfect to read aloud, this creepy, crawly adventure will engage children and parents alike with its vibrant illustrations and fascinating facts about bugs. Learning the ABCs has never been so bitingly fun! Mrs. Peanuckle’s Bug Alphabet is the fourth title in a series of board books celebrating the joy of nature at home and in the backyard, from fresh fruits and vegetables to birds, flowers, and trees.

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.

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.

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.

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.

  • Caterpillar Dreams - 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.

  • The Caterpillar and the Polliwog - Impressed by the proud caterpillar’s boast that she will turn into a butterfly when she grows up, a polliwog determines to watch the caterpillar very carefully and turn into a butterfly too.

  • I Love Dad with the Very Hungry Caterpillar - The very hungry caterpillar shows appreciation, and love, for all the things fathers do for their children.

  • 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.

Not a Butterfly Alphabet Book
Written by Jerry Pallotta & illustrated by Shennen Bersani
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

This nature alphabet book from best-selling author Jerry Pallotta features moths (not butterflies!) of all shapes and sizes. Meet dozens of moths—and a few bonus creatures—with engaging text and a laugh-out-loud narrative, from A (Atlas Moth) to G (Green Lips Moth—no kissing allowed!) to J (Jersey Tiger Moth, whose underwings are a completely different color than their upper wings, not to be confused with their underwear) to Z (Zigzag Moth). Readers of all ages will be entertained (and learning!) with every page turn.

Where's the Ladybug?
Written by Nosy Crow & illustrated by Ingela P. Arrhenius
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Five beautifully illustrated spreads show a series of friendly bugs hiding behind bright felt flaps. And there’s a mirror on the final page! A perfect book to share with very little ones.

Caterpillar and Bean
Written by Martin Jenkins & illustrated by Hannah Tolson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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.

Butterflies on the First Day of School
Written by Annie Silvestro & illustrated by Dream Chen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

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.

Señorita Mariposa
Written by Ben Gundersheimer & illustrated by Marcos Almada Rivero
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

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.

  • Bugs Everywhere - There are bugs everywhere! Some of them live in jungles, some of them underwater, and some certainly live in your house. And all of them are fascinating! Britta Teckentrup’s work will enthral budding entomologists. This nonfiction volume from a much-loved illustrator simply sparks with personality and is chock-full of weird and wonderful facts about all kinds of creepy-crawlies.

  • Hedgehugs and the Hattipillar - 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!

  • Alice in Wonderland - Follow the white rabbit down the hole and drink from the purple bottle to meet an orange cat, a blue caterpillar, a mad hatter with a brown hat, and the queen of red hearts in Alice in Wonderland: A BabyLit® Colors Primer. Kids will love Alison Oliver’s colorful and cheeky illustrations bringing life to Little Master Carroll’s beloved children’s classic.

  • Hedgehugs and the Hattiepillar - 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!

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.

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.

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.

Not a Bean
Written by Claudia Guadalupe Martínez & illustrated by Laura González
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A Mexican jumping bean isn’t a bean at all. It’s a fascinating home and food source for a special kind of caterpillar! With Spanish vocabulary and a clever counting concept, this poetic story shares the life cycle of a Mexican jumping bean. This curious jumping insect is actually a seedpod from a shrub called yerba de la flecha, into which a caterpillar burrows, living inside the pod until it builds a cocoon and breaks out as a moth. Perfect for preschoolers and prereaders, this creative picture book explores the Mexican jumping bean’s daily life and eventual transformation and escape from the pod.

Ten Magic Butterflies
Written by Danica McKellar & illustrated by Jennifer Bricking
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

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.

  • Eric Carle's Book of Many Things - Learn over 200 words with The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other favorite friends from the World of Eric Carle. Children will have hours of fun learning first words and first concepts in this beautiful book from the creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. From things in the garden to things you can eat, from numbers to shapes, from colors to feelings, this is the perfect way for little ones to learn what they need to navigate their busy worlds.

  • Binkle's Time to Fly - 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.

  • Merry Christmas from the Very Hungry Caterpillar - Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar for a celebration of all that is festive during the holiday season. This beautiful book features Eric Carle’s bright, colorful artwork of Christmas delights—from presents to snowflakes and even Santa Claus—with The Very Hungry Caterpillar making an appearance alongside each one. This sweet little book is the perfect Christmas present for readers young and old.

  • 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.

Summer Birds
Written by Margarita Engle & illustrated by Julie Paschkis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

Where's My Mom?
Written by Julia Donaldson & illustrated by Axel Scheffler
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A butterfly tries to help a lost young monkey find its mother in the jungle, meeting many different animals along the way.

Good Night Sleepy Caterpillar
Written by Patricia Hegarty & illustrated by Thomas Elliott
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Follow one little caterpillar through the forest as she says good night to all of her friends! It’s been a long day for one little caterpillar. Follow her through the forest as she says good night to all of her woodland friends in this delightful peek-through bedtime storybook. With colorful illustrations and die-cuts on every page, this book will keep little hands busy before they have sweet dreams!

The Jitterbug
Written by Marcie Colleen & illustrated by Steve James
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The Super Happy Party Bears become mentors when they meet Butter, a groovy caterpillar who’s got moves. This jitterbug can breakdance, tango, and boogie-woogie. The bears teach Butter everything they know, and he becomes a Super Happy Party Caterpillar dedicated to spreading the party spirit! When Butter mysteriously disappears, the bears frantically search for him, only to discover that the Jitterbug has morphed into a beautiful butterfly! The bears must accept that the Jitterbug has grown up and must follow his own fluttery path.Illustrated in full color!

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.

  • I Love You (Almost Always) - When two creatures are different, can they still be pals? A sweet pop-up book about friendship, from the creator of The Color Monster.
     
    Ralph is a roly-poly. Rita is a firefly. They are very different, and that is why they like each other . . . until, one day, they don’t. Rita thinks Ralph’s shell is too hard, and Ralph thinks Rita shines too brightly. Is their friendship in trouble? Or can they find a way to compromise? This celebration of love between two besties wows with amazing 3-D pop-ups on every page. It’s the perfect gift for Valentine’s—or any—Day.

  • Butterflies in Room 6 - 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.

  • Not So Small at All - Have you ever felt like you’re just too small to do important stuff in the world at all? Well, take a closer look, and then you’ll see that the smallest of things are as AMAZING as can be! Little things are capable of giant accomplishments. Bees, butterflies, and little children too may seem small but are actually full of great strength and incredible potential! Each one is unique, and capable of making big changes in the world.

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar's Easter Colors - Celebrate the bright and cheerful colors of Easter with The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The colors of the rainbow jump off the page in this colorful celebration of the Easter season. Young readers will love learning about colors along with The Very Hungry Caterpillar in this delightful board book filled with the joyful art of Eric Carle.

I Love Mom with the Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Celebrate Mom’s special day with The Very Hungry Caterpillar in this colorful book featuring Eric Carle’s joyful illustrations.

Show Mom just how much she means with this colorful book from the World of Eric Carle. Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar as he honors Mother’s Day and celebrates incredible parents everywhere. With joyful illustrations and colorful creatures, this charming keepsake is a great way to show parents, grandparents, soon-to-be mothers, aunts, friends, or whomever you call “Mom” just how much you care.

Inch by Inch
Written & illustrated by Leo Lionni
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

To keep from being eaten, an inchworm measures a robin’s tail, a flamingo’s neck, a toucan’s beak, a heron’s legs, and a nightingale’s song.

Love from the Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

“You are the cherry on my cake; you make the sun shine brighter; you make my heart flutter.” Using a range of images from the World of Eric Carle, and featuring the Very Hungry Caterpillar, this special gift book gives all the reasons why someone special makes the world a better and brighter place. Perfect for that someone special any day of the year!

Calm with the Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

This beautiful little gift book featuring The Very Hungry Caterpillar provides a simple, easy-to-follow journey to relaxation, perfect for children and adults. Just stop and breathe . . . How do you feel? Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar for a soothing story featuring classic art from the World of Eric Carle. With simple coping mechanisms and beautiful illustrations, this book is an excellent reminder to kids and adults alike to take a moment, breathe deep, and smile!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar's Garden Picnic
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Read along with The Very Hungry Caterpillar as he eats some of his favorite foods in this new scratch-and-sniff board book!

Munch through different foods with The Very Hungry Caterpillar in this brand-new scratch-and-sniff board book! Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar Scratch-and-Sniff includes a sweet story about Eric Carle’s classic character eating through his favorite foods and includes six fun scents to scratch and sniff on every spread for added fun!

  • What's Your Favorite Bug? - In this companion to “What’s Your Favorite Animal?” and “What’s Your Favorite Color?,” Carle and 14 other beloved children’s book artists illustrate their favorite bugs and explain why they love them. Full color.

  • Bugs in Danger: Our Vanishing Bees, Butterflies, and Beetles - By now you’ve probably heard that bees are disappearing—but they aren’t the only species at risk. Populations of fireflies, butterflies, and ladybugs have all been declining in recent years, too. This middle grade nonfiction explains the growth, spread, and recent declines of each of these four types of insects. Exploring human causes, like the Baltimore electric company that collected fireflies to attempt to harness their phosphorescent lighting source, to natural occurrences, like the mysterious colony collapse disorder that plagues bee populations, master nonfiction storyteller Mark Kurlansky shows just how much bugs matter to our world.

  • Happy Birthday from the Very Hungry Caterpillar - This gorgeous little gift book from The Very Hungry Caterpillar is the perfect way to say “Happy Birthday!” Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar for a celebration of everyone’s special day. This beautiful book features Eric Carle’s bright, colorful artwork of birthday surprises—from presents to balloons, and of course, cake—with The Very Hungry Caterpillar making an appearance alongside each one. This book is the perfect birthday gift for readers young and old.

  • 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.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar's Christmas 123
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Join the Very Hungry Caterpillar for some Christmas counting fun in this delightfully festive board book. The pages are filled with Eric Carle’s distinctive artwork, from 1 jolly Santa Claus to 10 beautifully wrapped presents. And children will love to spot the Very Hungry Caterpillar making an appearance with every number in this perfect Christmas gift!

Butterfly Colors and Counting
Written by Jerry Pallotta & illustrated by Shennen Bersani and Jerry Pallotta
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

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

The Bug Book
Written & illustrated by Sue Fliess
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Grab your bucket and join the search for all the cool bugs outside!

This fun rhyming story lists all the bugs you can imagine—creep bugs, climb bugs, sticky-slime bugs! Discover the vast world of insects in this photo-filled book.

Butterfly Counting
Written by Jerry Pallotta & illustrated by Shennen Bersani
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

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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