Blogger Jennifer Schultz

Buzzing Bees and Beautiful Butterflies

Although it is currently snowing in our neck of the woods (Virginia) while I write this post, spring is officially on notice.  Time to break out our favorite rabbit, gardening, and spring-themed stories!  One of my favorite springtime display/story time themes is “birds and butterflies.” (Insert your corny but cute display name here: Books to Buzz About/Fly Away With Books!/etc).  Here are the ones to which I routinely return:

butterfly butterfly

(image from Candlewick Press website)

Petr Horacek’s tale of a young girl searching for a butterfly may be economical in text, but the illustrations have vibrancy and depth.  Names of colors are emphasized, making this a first-rate choice for a colors-themed story time or display. We’ve had to replace this several times because it is a very popular choice with our patrons and staff; the pop up butterfly at the end is definitely more than worth the price.


(image from author’s website)

Janet S. Wong’s look at a family’s very busy morning has a great rhythm and usage of sound, so you may need to practice this one before reading it aloud.  As a family prepares for the day’s activities, a young boy observes a buzzing bee, as well as other similar sounds (such as the buzz of his father’s razor).

flower garden

(image from Harcourt website)

Eve Bunting’s Flower Garden is a standard in several of my favorite story times and displays; not only can you use it for a butterfly/bees theme, but also use it for flowers/gardening themes.  Urban gardens are not a common theme in picture books about flowers/gardens, so this stunningly illustrated story of a father and daughter who surprise Mom with a windowsill garden is quite special.

waiting for wings

(image from Scholastic website)

It’s not often that I get to feature a nonfiction read aloud in my story times, so Lois Ehlert’s Waiting for Wings is a standard in my butterfly story times and displays.  Through simple text and authentically illustrated (and labeled) depictions of butterflies’ life cycles, tips on creating a butterfly garden, and tips on how to identify butterflies,  young listeners and readers are treated to a cornucopia of butterfly facts and images.

(I always include The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but I don’t need to tell you about that book!)

What are your favorite books about butterflies and bees? Tell us in the comments!


  1. Renee Perron

    I just came across the book Don’t Worry Bear by Greg E. Foley. The story follows a bear who keeps checking up on his friend the caterpillar. Bear worries how his friend will hold up through all kinds of weather in his cocoon. The caterpillar always tells the bear not to worry. In the end, the bear finds the cocoon on the ground with a hole in it. A friendly moth flies by and tells the worried bear he is okay. This would be a great book to use with toddler or preschool story times.

  2. Jennifer Schultz

    Renee-I will look for it! Thanks for telling us about it.

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