Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A Butterfly Is Patient #nfpb2015

nonfiction picture book challenge 2015

My favorite reading challenge is Kid Lit Frenzy’s Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge. Visit Alyson’s blog to discover more wonderful nonfiction titles.

a butterfly is patient

Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long have collaborated on a series of gorgeous picture books that are perfect for the budding naturalist. I thought my son and I had read all of them, and then I happened upon A Butterfly Is Patient at the library, and it is just as wonderful as all the other books in the series. What first drew me to these books are the illustrations. Long fills the page with vivid examples of the subject under consideration.

The first book in the series that I read was An Egg Is Quiet. How can you resist a spread like this?

an egg is quiet


Or this, from A Rock Is Lively.

a rock is livelyAnd if eggs and seeds and rocks can be this gorgeous, I couldn’t wait to see what Long would do with butterflies. I wanted to frame most of the pictures.

Obviously the art is a huge part of the appeal of this series, but Aston’s words are really equally gorgeous. Each spread offers a statement of what a butterfly is–creative, spectacular, patient–and a detailed explanation of what creativity or patience means when it comes to butterflies. Aston writes about nature so poetically using such rich language and fluid sentences: the prose provides a strong, though ambitious, mentor text for student writers. Aston never loses sight of the purpose of the book, which is to share information. We learn about butterfly life cycles, food preferences, defenses against predators, migration patterns, and more.

The only negative I can see in this series is that there is no back matter with resources, author’s notes, glossaries, etc.







8 responses to “Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A Butterfly Is Patient #nfpb2015”

  1. The Logonauts (@thelogonauts) Avatar

    Completely fabulous illustrations! I WANT that rock page. Bummer about the lack of back matter though, that really seems like an oversight.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I don’t even know which book I love best. Butterflies are kind of easy to make beautiful. Rocks and eggs are a lot harder to make interesting, and so many of the pix in the rock and egg books were ones I wanted to frame too.

  2. trkravtin Avatar

    Check Alyson’s blog for the new book in the series A nest is Noisy! It’s beautiful, too. Great post.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I saw her review after I posted today. Can’t wait to get Nest Is Noisy!

  3. Linda Baie Avatar

    I just shared A Rock Is Lively with a colleague yesterday who is going to have her students create non-fiction picture books. I don’t know A Butterfly Is Patient either, will certainly find it! Thanks!

  4. Kellee Moye (@kelleemoye) Avatar

    Beautiful! Both this one and the Nest companion Aly blogged about.

  5. Michele Avatar

    Perfect timing, our kg is getting ready to study eggs – I’m going to check this book out for them!
    I really like this series, too.

  6. […] review of the gorgeous nonfiction picture book, A Butterfly Is […]

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