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Butterflies, Moths And Caterpillars: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids 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, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

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 Very Hungry Caterpillar to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

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!

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Top 10 Books About Butterflies, Moths And Caterpillars

#1
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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.

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#2
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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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#3
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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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#4
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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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#5
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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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#6
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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.

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#7
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I Love Dad with the Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The very hungry caterpillar shows appreciation, and love, for all the things fathers do for their children.

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#8
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The Caterpillar and the Polliwog
Written & illustrated by Jack Kent
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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.

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#9
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Fly Flies
Written by Ziggy Hanaor & illustrated by Alice Bowsher
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

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.

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#10
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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.

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Butterflies, Moths And Caterpillars and...

Books About Butterflies, Moths And Caterpillars and Butterflies

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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.

Buy book
$16.95
Bookshop
$14.41
Amazon
$16.95
Used $13.30
Prices as of Jan 23
Add to list
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.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$14.67
Used $2.25
Prices as of Jan 23
Add to list
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.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$16.95
Used $1.23
Prices as of Jan 23
Honorable Mentions
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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. We're Going on a Bear Hunt: Let's Discover Bugs - 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.

Books About Butterflies, Moths And Caterpillars and First Concepts

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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.

Buy book
$7.99
Bookshop
$6.79
Amazon
$5.99
Used $2.00
Prices as of Jan 23
Add to list
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.

Buy book
$21.99
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$18.69
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$9.83
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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.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Very Hungry Caterpillar - THE all-time classic picture book, from generation to generation, sold somewhere in the world every 30 seconds! Have you shared it with a child or grandchild in your life?

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Books About Butterflies, Moths And Caterpillars and Caterpillars

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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.

Buy book
$17.99
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$15.29
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$17.99
Used $17.99
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Add to list
I Love Dad with the Very Hungry Caterpillar
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The very hungry caterpillar shows appreciation, and love, for all the things fathers do for their children.

Buy book
$8.99
Bookshop
$7.64
Amazon
$7.05
Used $1.59
Prices as of Jan 23
Add to list
The Caterpillar and the Polliwog
Written & illustrated by Jack Kent
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

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.

Buy book
$7.99
Bookshop
$6.79
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$7.99
Used $7.99
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Honorable Mentions
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  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

Books About Butterflies, Moths And Caterpillars and Science And Nature

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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.

Buy book
$16.99
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$14.44
Amazon
$13.99
Used $4.50
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Not So Small at All
Written & illustrated by Sandra Magsamen
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-5

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.

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Bugs Everywhere
Written by Lily Murray & illustrated by Britta Teckentrup
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

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.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Moth - 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.

  2. Evelyn the Adventurous Entomologist: The True Story of a World-Traveling Bug Hunter - Back in 1881, when Evelyn Cheesman was born, English girls were expected to be clean and dressed in frilly dresses. But Evelyn crawled in dirt and collected glow worms in jars. When girls grew up they were expected to marry and look after children. But Evelyn took charge of the London Zoo insect house, filling it with crawling and fluttering specimens and breathing life back into the dusty exhibits. In the early 1920s, women were expected to stay home, but Evelyn embarked on eight solo expeditions to distant islands. She collected over 70,000 insect specimens, discovered new species, had tangles with sticky spider webs, and tumbled from a cliff. Inspire children to believe in their dreams and blaze their own trail with the story of Evelyn’s amazing life!

  3. How Rude! Real Bugs Who Won't Mind Their Manners - Full of scientific facts, humor and just the right amount of yuck, How Rude! will make you scream “gross!” Featuring a countdown of the top 10 bad bugs who just won’t mind their manners. One part illustration and one part photography, How Rude! is hilarious, informative, and seriously gross!

  4. Winged Wonders: Solving the Monarch Migration Mystery - For decades, as the monarch butterflies swooped through every year like clockwork, people from Canada to the United States to Mexico wondered, “Where do they go?” In 1976 the world learned the answer: after migrating thousands of miles, the monarchs roost by the millions in an oyamel grove in Central Mexico’s mountains. But who solved this mystery? Was it the scientist or the American adventurer? The citizen scientists or the teacher or his students? Winged Wonders shows that the mystery could only be solved when they all worked as a team–and reminds readers that there’s another monarch mystery today, one that we all must work together to solve.

Books About Butterflies, Moths And Caterpillars and Animals

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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.

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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.

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What's Your Favorite Bug?
Written & illustrated by Eric Carle
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. 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.

  2. The Bug Book - 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.

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