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The Butterfly House

The Butterfly House

3.5 2
by Eve Bunting, Greg Shed
With the help of her grandfather, a little girl makes a house for a larva and watches it develop before setting it free. And when the girl grows old, the butterflies come back to return her kindness. Full color.


With the help of her grandfather, a little girl makes a house for a larva and watches it develop before setting it free. And when the girl grows old, the butterflies come back to return her kindness. Full color.

Editorial Reviews

Mailbox Bookbag
Love given is love returned in this tenderhearted tale about a girl, her grandfather, and the butterfly larva they rescue. Warm, muted illustrations reflect the magical quality of their unique relationship. For readers inspired to raise their own butterflies, directions are provided at the end of the book.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this somewhat treacly memoir, a girl saves a caterpillar, "a small black creature/ like a tiny worm,/ ...from a greedy jay/ who wanted it/ for lunch." Her grandpa explains that she has found a larva that will become a butterfly, and the two make a shoebox home for it, decorated with cut-paper flowers and topped with a sky-blue lid and a "curve of rainbow/ like a hug/ to keep her safe." When the caterpillar transforms into a painted lady, the girl lets it go. Many years later, when the granddaughter has reached her grandfather's age, butterflies continue to flock to her garden. Bunting precisely documents the raising of the butterfly, but, unlike her other intergenerational tale, I Have an Olive Tree (reviewed above), this story conveys little of the relationship between the girl and her grandfather. Much of the connection between the girl and her rescued pet comes through at the end, thanks to Shed's (also teamed with Bunting for Dandelions) close-up paintings in a smudgy pastel palette that connects past and present with an air of timelessness. A step-by-step guide to raising a butterfly closes the book. Ages 5-8. (May) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Bunting's story is filled with warm, wonderful illustrations in gouache on canvas created by Greg Shed. Together they tell the story of a larva's transformation. After a young girl rescues a larva from a hungry bird, her grandfather helps her build a butterfly house so they can observe its transformation. When the butterfly emerges, she sadly lets it free. But every spring thereafter, the butterflies come to her garden. Can it be that the tale of her rescue has passed down through the generations? Bunting raised a butterfly of her own during a local Earth Day celebration, and detailed instructions for raising a butterfly are found on the book's closing page.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-After saving a caterpillar from a hungry bird, a young girl consults her grandfather and together they build a butterfly house. Considering the barren box, the child determines to bring outdoor beauty indoors, so the pair create a colorful "garden" of painted flowers to line the sides and a blue sky on the inner lid. Ultimately, the larva forms a chrysalis, undergoes the marvelous metamorphosis into a Painted Lady butterfly, and is set free by the tearful girl. The simply worded tale is narrated by the child grown old, who exults in a plethora of Painted Ladies in her butterfly garden, sure that they are the descendants of that long-ago butterfly who passed on memories of loving consideration. Shed's soft-edged gouaches in Painted Lady tones celebrate this joyous story in perfect rhythm and the whole will produce sighs of satisfaction from readers and listeners alike. It may also give rise to pleas for boxes and jars, papers and paints to raise butterflies. Teamed with such ideal nonfiction complements as Deborah Heiligman's From Caterpillar to Butterfly (HarperCollins, 1996) and Joanne Ryder's Where Butterflies Grow (Lodestar, 1989), plus a teacher-peek at E. Jaediker Norsgaard's How to Raise Butterflies (Dodd, Mead, 1988; o.p.), the book provides the nucleus for a fine whole-language science unit for the youngest set.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 11.07(h) x 0.36(d)
AD500L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

EVE BUNTING has written many books for children, including the Caldecott Medal-winning Smoky Night, illustrated by David Diaz, and Can You Do This, Old Badger? and Little Badger, Terror of the Seven Seas, both illustrated by LeUyen Pham. Ms. Bunting recently received the prestigious Kerlan Award. She lives in Southern California. Greg Shed is the illustrator of many children's books for children including Squanto's Journey, by Joseph Bruchac, and Dandelions by Eve Bunting. He lives in San Diego, California.

Eve Bunting was born in 1928 in Ireland where she was raised, and she graduated from Methodist College. She has written more than two hundred books, ranging from picture books to young adult novels. Her subject matter spans both fantasy and reality. She has received countless awards for her writing, and never ceases to produce new books. Eve says that as long as the world is full of such wonderful ideas, she will continue writing. In addition, she says that, for her, writing is like breathing--it is necessary. This wonderful writer is also wonderful wife to her husband Ed and a mother of three - one daughter and two sons - Christine, Sloan and Glenn.

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Butterfly House 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has it all. The gorgeous illustrations are perfect for the sweet story. The words ring true and bring tears to my eyes every time I read this story to my little girls. And to top it off, you can join in the fun by learning how to make your own butterfly house! This is one of my favorite children's books. Please see the recommended list following this review, as these books are also a combination of exquisite art and fine writing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a beautiful story to read over and over again! Focus is on nature, caring for a butterfly and the special relationship between a child and their grandfather! Highly recommend this book.