Over the past few months, you will have noticed that I haven't posted with as regular frequency. We've been on holiday, we've...

Throwback Thursday - Butterflies

Thursday, November 24, 2016 BookBairn Blog 16 Comments


Over the past few months, you will have noticed that I haven't posted with as regular frequency. We've been on holiday, we've had several winter bugs and, being pregnant, I've been using BookBairn's naps to rest up and nap. But we've still been out and having fun! We've still been readin books. So for the next few weeks, until the end of the year, I'm going to do a few flashback posts to share some of our adventures and the stories we read alongside them!

At the end of the summer, BookBairn and I went to the amazing butterfly house at our local botanic gardens. BookBairn had an absolutely wonderful time running around the hothouse (it was tropical) and pointing at all the "butters". She kept pointing to them and was utterly fascinated! Best of all was when a butterfly landed on her shirt and then on her head! She loved her "butter hat" and giggled and squealed with the kind of joy only a nearly-two-year-old can.

I thought it would be fun to read a few butterfly stories at home to relive the experience and reinforce all the words she picked up: "butter" and "cupertea" (caterpillar). We all know the ultimate butterfly book is the marvellous 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle. I'm not going to say much about this one as I reviewed it some time back in one of our 'Story Book Classic' posts (you can check it out here). BookBairn is dressed as a caterpillar in the photos and was so little, it's super cute, even if I do say so myself!). Now that she is a little older she has started to enjoy the story more and it's a book we often take in the car with us and she 'reads' it as we travel. It's great for this as I know all the words by heart so I can 'read' it and drive at the same time. My favourite thing is that now she says "more more more" every time the caterpillar eats a little more.

After this, I honestly struggled to find many butterfly books and I had to consult the lovely librarians and some of my fellow picture book enthusiast friends on Twitter. Thank goodness we came up with a few but for children's story writers out there: there is a huge gap in the market here.

First we borrowed 'The Crunching Munching Caterpillar' by Sheridan Cain and Jack Tickle from the library and it has been such a brilliant read. It is most certainly a 'very noisy picture book' as the cover suggests and each page has a red and yellow button to press making a noise related to that part of the story. Unlike many noisy books these buttons are printed on the page and the corresponding buttons are tucked in the back cover pages meaning that the book isn't as heavy and cumbersome as other noisy books although it also means you need to have the pages aligned and sometimes BookBairn has found pushing the buttons quite tricky. This book tells the story of a little caterpillar who in between sleeping and munching on leaves he meets fellow beasties and creatures all of whom can fly and he dreams of having wings too. Of course one night he has a very long sleep and more dreams of flying and when he wakes up, like magic, he is a marvellous winged butterfly. I'll be honest, I only borrowed this book because we went to see the butterflies and I wanted to read some stories with BookBairn about butterflies. But this book has become a favourite of BookBairn's. She particularly enjoys pressing the button to hear the birds singing "tweet tweet" - a word that she had not learned before; and she has also picked up the word "munch" when asked "what does a caterpillar do?" she replies with "munch"! It's been a great little learning tool for us which is exactly what I was looking for. I will be looking out for others in the series.

I also picked up 'Butterfly: a book of colour' by Petr Horacek after it was recommended to me by some fellow book bloggers. I had heard lots about Petr's work but never before read any of his books myself so I was particularly intrigued. This book is a delightful story of a little girl who spends one day playing with chasing a butterfly (a bit like BookBairn at the Botanics) and then spends all of the next day searching for the butterfly to play with again, encountering some other creepy crawlies on the way. This is a fab book for introducing little ones to the names of beasties and with it's die-cut-outs its great for little fingers to explore. The illustration in this book is quite unusual, though in some ways it reminds me of the Very Hungry Caterpillar, and uses a bright bold palette of colours with tonnes of layering and detail. It's somewhere between a sketchbook of drawings and a collage of watercolour paintings and for some might be a bit 'manic' in it's style. Personally I find some of the pages a bit too busy and wonder if BookBairn might struggle to focus on any particular element at a time. What she does love is the huge pop-up butterfly on the final pages! It is such a treat! And a spectacular surprise. For me I love the little girl's ladybird dress as it makes me think back to BookBairn dressed as a ladybird for a friend's party

. This is a beautiful book with lovely elements and in some ways the crazy colours remind me of the Botanics with all those butterflies floating around. And of course with a pop-up butterfly at the end this story really does feel like you are surrounded by fluttering butterflies as you read.

If you know of any other great butterfly stories it would be lovely to hear from you!

And if you get a chance I would highly recommend visiting a butterfly house with your little ones. It's seriously magical! I think next year we might get caterpillars and watch them transform into butterflies before setting them free in our garden. Now that would be magic!

Thanks for fluttering by,
Mummy and BookBairn xx


Click on the images above to find these books on amazon.co.uk 
*This post contains Affiliate links.



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16 comments:

  1. What gorgeous books, The Hungry Caterpillar has always been a favourite in this house, thanks for sharing with #ReadWithMe

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    1. It's hard to think of many books that are as well-loved as The Very Hungry Caterpillar! x

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  2. I loved the visit to the butterfly house in St Andrews. It was great to witness BookBairn's excitement and it was a magical moment when the "butter" landed on her head although next time I will be wearing shorts and a t shirt. Phew! It was warm. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a great book and I like the sound of the Crunching Munching Caterpillar.

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    1. It was a brilliant day - but very very hot! Crunching Munching Caterpillar is a very noisy fun book but unfortunately it's due back at the library!

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  3. These are lovely books. I've themed the girls books by season but not my creatures before. #readwithme

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    1. It's nice to read a few books on a theme isn't it. I've done my sort of by season in the past too! Thanks for reading!

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  4. I love Petr Horacek's books. I must keep an eye out for Butterfly. Great post! #readwithme

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  5. Such a lovely idea for a blog post, we have a butterfly house not too far away from us and it is gorgeous. Well done on getting so many lovely photos of them! You're right about the lack of butterfly books, they usually focus on a caterpillar changing in to one. I do like the butterfly in Monkey Puzzle by Julia Donaldson though. #KLTR #readwithme

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    1. I need to get Monkey Puzzle from the library!

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  6. Mummy loved the Very Hungry Caterpillar when she was little and so heart warming for G'ma that BookBairn not only loves it but that they use the library and their book networks to find similar stories

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    1. It's such a brilliant classic story! x

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  7. i love all these books. We have The Crunching Munching caterpillar on CD and it's so fun to read. Thanks for linking up to #KLTR

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    1. Ours was just borrowed from the library but must look out for the CD version as BookBairn enjoys audio books in the car now too!

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  8. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is such a classic and well loved in our house. I've not heard of the others and will have to check them out. Thanks for linking up to #KLTR

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    1. Thanks for another fab way to share and read similar blogs! x

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