Handle With Care


A couple of years ago someone gifted this oversized hardbound picture book to my science loving kids. We read it immediately and loved it. This spring, my ten year old was searching for science books to read during his daily quiet hour. When he pulled this one out of our biology bucket, we all enjoyed revisiting this interesting and visually stunning resource.


There are many butterfly books available to young families. What makes this book unique is that it is not just a story about the life cycle of the butterfly. Instead, it is a fascinating look into the work of the Costa Rican butterfly farmers at El Bosque Nuevo and the scientists at Boston’s Museum of Science.


First the book explains the basics of butterfly life cycles. Then, they explain why butterfly farms are needed and how important the work of the Costa Rican butterfly farmers is to scientists in museums around the world. Next, the photos and text boxes explain how the butterfly farms cultivate the butterflies, care for the plants that butterflies need for food and shelter, and keep predators away.


In gorgeous photos and interesting story telling, the book shows us how some pupae are released into the ecosystem, some are reserved for future breeding, and how some are carefully packaged for shipment across the world.  Finally, we see how the museum scientists care for the pupae until the butterfly emerges!


At the time of writing this, the book is priced astronomically high. I am guessing that that is a glitch or a short term supply problem. I would suggest that you request this from your library (if they don’t have it, perhaps you could suggest that they look into it), find a used copy, or patiently wait until the price drops back into a reasonable range.

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