28 Fluttery Kids' Books About Butterflies and Caterpillars

Clara Caterpillar

A charming story about a clever caterpillar who is unhappy about her plain color. Clara is a cabbage caterpillar who develops into a somewhat unremarkable butterfly. She feels dull  compared to Catisha, an especially conceited crimson-colored butterfly. In this inspiring children's book about butterflies, there is an important message about how beauty is defined.







Beautiful Children's Books about Butterflies & Caterpillars

On lovely spring days, the wispy-winged butterflies perched on flowers are a beautiful vision. The intricate patterns and brilliant colors are truly a gift from nature for anyone who pauses to appreciate these interesting insects. Not only are they beautiful to watch, they are incredibly fascinating to read about in these fiction and non-fiction butterfly picture books. Readers will learn the various stages as caterpillars morph into lovely winged creatures.

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My Book of Butterflies

An absolutely exquisite non-fiction book about butterflies. Every page is filled with painted and paper collage pictures of butterflies in action. Kids will learn about many different butterfly species and interesting details about their life cycle. Gorgeous illustrations show butterflies in flight, laying eggs, and sipping nectar from flowers. Pair this introductory book with a fun fictional story about butterflies for some fun summertime reading.



Moth & Butterfly: Ta-Da!

Two little caterpillars, who are best friends, take pleasure in everything they have in common. Not only do they enjoy snacking on leaves, but they also happen to look a lot alike with lots of little legs. These critters even build their cocoons next to each other, but when they emerge, something is amiss! One is a butterfly and the other is a moth! As they discover their differences (one likes the day, the other prefers night), these two friends find ways to strengthen their bond. A darling butterfly book about a friendship that withstands the test of time.



Explore My World: Butterflies

 A wonderful introductory book for preschoolers and young children eager to learn more about butterflies. A simple explanation teaches young readers the important role butterflies play in plant life, the process of metamorphosis, and migration. The pages are full of the most magnificent photographs of colorful butterflies.



Butterflies are Pretty Gross!

 Butterflies may be beautiful bugs, but they have some dirty little secrets that are revealed in this entertaining book. For example, some species like to eat dead animals and poop. Other emit a terrible stink to keep predators at bay. And some are extremely loud and disturb the peace. This funny book is full of jokes, humorous trivia, and lots of other material that seems to contradict everything we believe about these lovely-looking flutter bugs.



The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This classic Eric Carle book cannot be overlooked when adding to your child's collection of caterpillar books. Kids will practice counting as this classic caterpillar works his way through the days of the week by eating a colorful selection of foods. When his belly is stuffed, this signature caterpillar goes through a magical metamorphosis and emerges as a butterfly.



The Caterpillar and the Butterfly

An inspiring book for kids about transforming their fears into faith by using a butterfly analogy. Fear is the name of an endearing little caterpillar who is quite afraid of just about everything. His anxiety covers everything from other critters who live in the garden to lightning storms. He's especially scared of bullies and making new friends. When he meets a beatifully butterfly named Faith, she teaches him how to confront his fears and live life to its fullest.  



Señorita Mariposa

A bilingual book about the migration of the monarch butterflies from Canada to Mexico.  This gorgeously illustrated, rhyming picture book takes readers on a magnificent journey with many stops along the way. Children will be introduced to a diverse group of people from various backgrounds as the monarchs migrate south. 



Pinkalicious and the Little Butterfly

Butterflies capture the attention of a famously pink-loving girl. Her teacher brings some caterpillars to class supplement a lesson on metamorphosis. Pinkalicious forms a special connection with one of them and rejoices as it transforms into a beautiful monarch butterfly. A page of butterfly stickers is a special bonus.





The Amazing Life Cycle of Butterflies

Whimsical pictures fill the pages of this non-fiction book about butterflies. Children will learn all about the life cycle and other interesting facts about these magical insects. The charming collage-like illustrations carry readers away to beautiful fields and farms full of bold and brilliant butterflies. Supplemental material in the back provides opportunity for a more in-depth study of these complex insects.




The Caterpillar and the Butterfly

Beautiful watercolor illustrations capture the journey of a little green caterpillar. This insect meets lots of critters of all sizes on its journey to becoming a bold butterfly.  Simple text makes this lovely butterfly picture book accessible to young readers.



Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly

Velma is an eager first-grader who has big shoes to fill. Her two older siblings were outstanding students who could do no wrong in the eyes of their teachers. Poor Velma experiences an identity crisis of sorts when her teach can hardly remember her name, but all of that changes on a class trip to a butterfly conservatory. Magically, a butterfly lands on Velma's finger and stays in place for days on end. Finally, this little girl shines and receives the recognition she craves. Along the way, readers will learn all about butterflies, from metamorphosis to migration.




Ten Magic Butterflies

Children will enjoy the mathematical lessons taught in this magical butterfly book. A fairy flutters through the sky turning lovely flowers into beautiful butterflies. Preschool children will learn how to group numbers in this delightful book. Be on the lookout for a cute, albeit timid, caterpillar who wonders what the future holds.



 Elmer and Butterfly

An unlikely duo teaches readers that friendship comes in all shapes and sizes. One day Elmer, a beloved patchwork elephant, discovers a tiny butterfly trapped by a fallen branch. When he sets her free, the butterfly wonders how in the world she will ever be able to return the favor. Then one day, Elmer finds himself in a similar predicament and the resourceful butterfly comes to the rescue. For more on this special elephant, check out the rest of the Elmer book series.



Brave Little Butterfly

A succinct, rhyming book about butterflies teaches children all about metamorphosis. A timid little caterpillar must learn to be brave in order to endure the transformation. Preschool children will enjoy watching a beautiful butterfly take flight via the delicate watercolor illustrations.



Fancy Nancy: Bonjour, Butterfly

Butterflies are the fanciest insects of all, so it's no wonder that Nancy is excited about Bree's butterfly-themed birthday party. Unfortunately, an important family event trumps the birthday party, and Fancy Nancy is furious. Any child who has felt the disappointment of missing out on a fun party will appreciate Nancy's reaction. For Fancy Nancy fans, this butterfly book is a fun addition to the collection. 



The Little Butterfly That Could

Little children will learn all about patience, persistence and overcoming challenges in this book about a butterfly who experiences self-doubt. Comical illustrations perfectly complement this story about a butterfly who is astounded to find out he must migrate 200 miles. He must rely on his wings and tenacity to carry him this great distance to the flowers. A darling butterfly book for preschoolers and kindergarteners embarking on their own journeys.


Hurry and the Monarch

A tender connection between an adventurous Monarch butterfly and a  sedentary turtle is expressed in this lovely book. A brilliant, orange butterfly  enjoys the freedom her wings provide. At one point during her 2000 mile migration, she stops in the garden of an old tortoise, named Hurry, and offers hope that one day he, too, will be able to fly. Hurry is quite content with his slow life in the garden, and even finds greater purpose protecting the beautiful Monarch's eggs. A popular children's butterfly book that merges a lesson in science with a tale about an unlikely friendship.




The Very Impatient Caterpillar

A lesson in patience is the center of this silly book about a caterpillar who isn't very good at waiting. His curiosity gets the better of him when he observes some other caterpillars climbing a tree. They explain that it's time to go through metamorphosis, which is news to him. He also is dumbfounded to learn that they will all emerge as butterflies when the process is complete. This book is best read with a silly, expressive voice that conveys excited impatience.



The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian's Art Changed Science

A magnificent, award-winning non-fiction book about the life of Maria Sibylla Merian. In the 1600s, bugs were considered evil and born of mud, but Merian was one of the original naturalists to study them. In fact, she is credited as being the first to document the metamorphosis of butterflies. This inspiring historical book draws interesting parallels between the emergence of a female scientist in the 17th century and the remarkable transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly.



Oh My, Oh My- A Butterfly!

The Cat in the Hat  joins Sally and Dick as they witness the amazing metamorphosis of an egg into a butterfly. Unlike other Dr. Seuss titles, this comprehensive book is better suited for older children who are ready for an in-depth lesson about caterpillars and butterflies. Kids learn about what they eat, how they stay safe from predators, and their migration patterns. An excellent choice if you are looking for a non-fiction book about butterflies for kids.


National Geographic: Caterpillar to Butterfly

This non-fiction book is filled with magnificent photos of caterpillars and butterflies. Readers are provided with fascinating information about their transformation. The last page includes interesting facts about all the different types of butterflies and caterpillars, including poisonous ones.



Where Butterflies Grow

Very detailed, realistic artwork captures the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly. Each step of the process is explained,  from the time the caterpillar hatches until it blossoms into a gorgeous, swallowtail black butterfly. This inspirational book includes instructions for children to grow their own butterflies.


A Butterfly is Patient

A lyrical picture book about butterflies that is both artful and informative with artwork that shows off the wispy, perfectly symmetrical details of these incredible insects. This gorgeous book celebrates a variety of butterfly species, including orange monarchs, blue swallowtails, and many more.

In the Butterfly Garden

   A beautiful, intricate pop-up book that engages little readers by drawing them into the garden. As each page turns, children watch the cocoon transform into a glorious butterfly. There are lots of other details to explore along the way, like inchworms chomping on leaves and insects hiding in the blades of grass.


Butterfly Colors and Counting

A sturdy board book about butterflies helps children practice counting. A different color is introduced on every page with pictures of beautiful butterflies to match. A wondeful baby shower book for nature-loving families.


The Social Butterfly

 Charlotte is a the most adorable little butterfly who loves to socialize. The problem is that good communications skills require listening sometimes, something Charlotte hasn't mastered. This darling butterfly is great at talking, singing, and playing. When her non-stop activity threatens to destroy her friendships, Charlotte has to look inward at her own social tendencies and make some adjustments.

How to Raise Monarch Butterflies

A helpful guide for both children and adults who are interested in learning about monarch butterflies and how to grow them. Real photographs capture the amazing transformation from caterpillar to butterfly. Kids will learn about how they can help eliminate the environmental threat to this species. They will also learn how to start their own butterfly garden and what to feed the Monarchs.


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Educational Butterfly Kits and Toys

For all the little insect-lovers in your life, consider some of these unique and creative butterfly gifts perfect for birthdays, holidays, or springtime celebrations. Pair a few picture books with one of these butterfly gardens or growing kits. Children will enjoy hours of learning and engagement with these beautiful insects and develop a whole new appreciation for nature.

Butterfly Garden

A comprehensive book of instructions comes with this best-selling butterfly garden. The mesh habitat is close to 12 inches tall and the kit comes with a feeding dropper. Live caterpillars ship separately and can be ordered with a voucher provided with this kit.

Melissa and Doug Book and Butterfly Figures

A large foam book includes a cute story about butterflies and some pretty cool facts just right for preschoolers. This kit also comes with eight butterfly play figures with a convenient storage compartment attached to the book.



Live Butterfly Growing Kit

This is an all-inclusive butterfly kit that comes with all the materials and instructions necessary. The pop-up habitat has a handy zipper for easy access to feed the butterflies. It includes five live caterpillars, food, an eye dropper, a picture book, and beautiful butterfly stickers.



Melissa and Doug Magnetic Bug Game

A high-quality magnetic game for toddlers to practice eye-hand coordination. Two pretty butterflies as well as other bugs hide out in the garden, hoping to avoid the bug catcher. Little kids will have fun capturing each one and then setting them free back in their natural habitat.


Butterfly Bug House

Little girls will love going outside and collecting insects to store in this adorable bug house. This Melissa and Doug toy is made of durable pink plastic and adorned with a cute rainbow. It's about seven inches long which is just enough space to temporarily trap bugs before setting them free again.



The Very Hungry Caterpillar Reversible Butterfly

A soft, plush caterpillar can be easily unzipped to transform into a stunning butterfly. This 16-inch toy pairs perfectly with Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar. A wonderful baby shower or first birthday book for butterfly-loving families.





Fly Away With These Children's Books about Butterflies and Caterpillars

Butterflies are the loveliest, most delicate insects that are, sadly, incredibly fleeting. They flutter away before we have a chance to take in all their beauty.  Reading children's books about butterflies provides magical moments when these whimsical bugs come to life. Facts are woven throughout these butterfly picture books, teaching kids about metamorphosis, life-cycles, diet, and more. 




Fascinating Facts about Butterflies and Caterpillars

 After reading some of these amazing children's books about butterflies, you'll be interested in learning more about these incredibly beautiful bugs. They are intricate and complicated insects that play a vital role in pollinating plants, as well as provide a food source for others. Here are some interesting facts you'll want to share with your children next time you have the privilege of watching butterflies perched on a flower or breezily flying through the garden.


  • Butterflies come in a wide variety of sizes, ranging from 1/8 inch to 12 inches.
  • There is a whopping 20,000 different species of butterflies!
  • Although the entire life cycle can last from two to eight months, butterflies on average live for only two weeks.
  • Most people think butterflies have two wings, but they actually have four wings. There is a set of forewings close to the head and a second set of hindwings by the rear.
  • Butterflies have taste receptors in their feet. When they land on plants and flowers, their feet detect whether or not they have the necessary nutrients for survival.
  • Butterflies drink what they require for nutrition through their proboscis, which is their mouth. Their diet is entirely liquid since they don't have the necessary parts to chew food.
  • The skeletons of butterflies are outside of their bodies. This exoskeleton protects the insects and helps to retain fluid so that they don't dry out and wither away.
  • The lifecycle of a butterfly consists of four phases: egg, caterpillar, pupa and adult butterfly.
  • Butterflies lay a huge quantity of eggs at one time, somewhere between 400 and 1000 depending on the species. About 98% of these eggs are killed by nature, which is actually a good thing. If all of those eggs became butterflies, the population would overwhelm and ultimately destroy plant life.
  • Before laying eggs, butterflies search for a good leaf that will provide their offspring with plenty of nutrition after they are born. They produce a sticky substance that adhere all of the eggs to the leaf so they stay securely in place.


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