The Butterfly Alphabet

Overview

Like magic, the stunning close-up photographs in this book reveal, in the delicate wings of butterflies and moths from around the world, an exquisite alphabet written in nature's own hand. Playful, fanciful verse serves as a guide through this celebration of the wondrously colorful world of butterflies and the secret delights of the natural world that beckon us all.

Introduces the letters of the alphabet through rhyming text and close-up examinations of letter-like ...

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Overview

Like magic, the stunning close-up photographs in this book reveal, in the delicate wings of butterflies and moths from around the world, an exquisite alphabet written in nature's own hand. Playful, fanciful verse serves as a guide through this celebration of the wondrously colorful world of butterflies and the secret delights of the natural world that beckon us all.

Introduces the letters of the alphabet through rhyming text and close-up examinations of letter-like markings on the wings of various species of butterflies.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An expansion of Sandved's award-winning poster in which letters and numbers can be deciphered in close-up exposures of butterflies and moths, this book marks a virtuoso performance by a talented nature photographer. Taken during his travels to more than 30 countries over 25 years, the photos collected here include crystalline shots of 26 intricately patterned butterflies and moths, positioned opposite large-scale magnifications of a portion of the featured species. Using optical equipment he devised himself, including microscopic lenses attached to bellows, Sandved has created breathtaking close-ups in which even the youngest readers will have no trouble spotting the highlighted letter. Though some of the rhymed couplets accompanying the photos are a bit precious ("The flutter of their little wings / Inspires love for all small things"), Sandved's concluding notes on the species examined are lucid and informative. A treasure for photography buffs and aspiring lepidopterists of all ages, this volume pays deserved tribute to nature's spectacular artwork, as well as to Sandved's remarkably discerning eye. All ages. (Mar.)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Magnified photos reveal letters and numbers among the patterns on butterflies' and moths' wings; in a starred review, PW called the work "a treasure for photography buffs and aspiring lepidopterists of all ages." Ages 4-8. (July) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Debra Briatico
This beautiful alphabet book features playful, poetic verses and colorful photographs of twenty-six butterfly species that have special markings on their wings. When readers take a close look at each photo, they will quickly notice that each marking represents a letter in the alphabet. Smithsonian photographer and naturalist, Kjell Sandved, spent twenty years photographing letters A-Z and numbers 0-9 on the wings of butterflies from around the world. Readers of all ages will enjoy this unique look at the alphabet!
School Library Journal
K-Gr 5-When Sandved discovered shapes resembling letters on butterflies' wings, he decided to seek out and photograph the entire alphabet, using special microscopic equipment of his own design. On each spread, a closeup of the butterfly's scales (which form a letter) faces a photo of the whole insect and a rhyming couplet that includes a word beginning with that letter. Readers will enjoy seeing how the "letter" fits into the larger pattern of the creature's wings. The insects are identified and a key at the back of the book gives a few facts about them. A poster, which serves as the back of the book jacket, is a handsome sight, with a deep gold background setting off the butterflies' brilliant colors. The book's internal photographs are much larger, but this enlargement makes the patterns less distinct, so that their resemblance to letters is less clear. The poetry is pleasant enough, but as it does not lead to any conclusion, nor relate one page to the next, it becomes repetitious. The stunning photographs are a tribute to Sandved's persistence and skill, but their translation into an alphabet book has diluted their impact.-Ruth S. Vose, San Francisco Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
This photographic alphabet book, focusing on letters found in nature rather than in manufactured objects, invites comparison with Jerome Wexler's imaginative investigations of the tiny. Here, two lines of verse and a full-color photograph of a butterfly or moth lie opposite a full-page, magnified detail of its wing that contains the shape of a letter. Each letter is also represented calligraphically and in a highlighted word of the text. Some of these latter samples are more felicitous than others: W for wing is quite apt, while X for exquisite is less than lovely. At the end of the book, solidly factual general information about butterflies is followed by a parade of short bios of the lepidoptera in these pages, collected over 25 years and in 30 countries. The book, inspired by Sandved's poster of the same name, is a happy conjunction of elements: surprisingly informative and visually pleasing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439079471
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/1999
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.98 (w) x 11.04 (h) x 0.16 (d)

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