Literature Connections to
Hide A Butterfly

Teacher's Guides > Hide A Butterfly

The following books look at a butterfly’s lifestyle and life cycle, as well as showing how many animals use camouflage and other defensive coloration for protection. Language is encouraged in stories and rhymes that challenge children to go on a nature hunt with animals that are hidden in realistic and fantasy settings. To introduce the topic of butterflies, you may want to use the books that present the flower or meadow habitat of a butterfly through beautiful illustrations and verse. Comparing defenses of other animals is highlighted in two fantasy books about chameleons who use their ability to change color to their advantage.

The Butterfly Hunt
Chameleon Was a Spy
The Flower Alphabet Book
The Girl Who Loved Caterpillars
How to Hide a Butterfly and Other Insects
How to Hide a Polar Bear and Other Mammals

The Lamb and the Butterfly
Lizard in the Sun
The Mixed-Up Chameleon
The Rose in My Garden
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
We Hide, You Seek
Where Butterflies Grow
Where Does the Butterfly Go When It Rains?
Who’s Hiding Here?
Wild Wild Sunflower Child Anna

The Butterfly Hunt
by Yoshi
Picture Book Studio, Saxonville, Massachusetts. 1990
Grades: Preschool–2
A boy pursues and captures elusive butterflies, but decides it is more fun to carry home memories than a trophy. He sets the butterfly free, “forever and ever the butterfly was his very own.” Beautiful full-color illustrations of a wide variety of butterflies.
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Chameleon Was a Spy
by Diane R. Massie
Scholastic, New York. 1979
Grades: K–5
Chameleon uses his ability to change colors to help the Pleasant Pickle Company get back their secret recipe from the competitors who stole it!
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The Flower Alphabet Book
by Jerry Pallotta; illustrated by Leslie Evans
Quinlan Press, Boston. 1988
Grades: Preschool–2
Beautiful, scientifically precise alphabet picture book showing many varieties of flowers and plants. A good early primary accompaniment to the meadows ideas and the activities relating to nectar, pollen, and flowers in Buzzing a Hive.
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The Girl Who Loved Caterpillars
adapted by Jean Merrill; illustrated by Floyd Cooper
Philomel Books/Putnam & Grosset, New York. 1992
Grades: 2–6
Izumi loves caterpillars but wonders “Why do people make such a fuss about butterflies and pay no attention to the creatures from which butterflies come? It is caterpillars that are really interesting!” Izumi is interested in the “original nature of things,” and in doing things naturally. This book, at a somewhat higher age level than the Hide a Butterfly activities, could be read out loud to younger children, adapted as needed to their vocabulary and level of understanding. An excellent portrayal of an independent-thinking female role model.
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How to Hide a Butterfly and Other Insects
by Ruth Heller
Grosset & Dunlap, New York. 1985
Grades: Preschool–3
Written in rhyme, this beautifully illustrated book describes and shows how insects camouflage themselves and are often “out of view, although they’re right in front of you.”
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How to Hide a Polar Bear and Other Mammals
by Ruth Heller
Grosset & Dunlap, New York. 1985
Grades: Preschool–3
Go on a nature hunt to find the camouflaged polar bear, deer, zebra and other handsome mammals hiding in the brilliantly illustrated pages of this book.
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The Lamb and the Butterfly
by Arnold Sundgaard; illustrated by Eric Carle
Orchard Books, New York. 1988
Grades: K–3
A protected lamb and an independent butterfly discuss their different ways of living. Spirited introduction to the concept of diversity and acceptance of differences.
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Lizard in the Sun
by Joanne Ryder; illustrated by Michael Rothman
William Morrow, New York. 1990
Grades: Preschool–2
A friendly narration guides you through your day as a lizard: you are camouflaged from hungry birds and hidden from insects that become your next meal. Children enjoy seeing the natural world from a lizard’s viewpoint, and learn interesting facts about the lizard’s lifestyle.
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The Mixed-Up Chameleon
by Eric Carle
Harper & Row, New York. 1975
Grades: Preschool–2
A bored chameleon wishes it could be more like all the other animals it sees, but soon decides it would rather just be itself. Protective coloration (the chameleon changes color according to the surface on which it rests) and energy (when the chameleon is warm and full, it turns one color, when cold and hungry, it turns another) are woven into the story, as are a discussion of the attributes of various other animals.
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The Rose in My Garden
by Arnold Lobel; illustrated by Anita Lobel
Greenwillow Books, New York. 1984
Grades: Preschool–2
Each page adds a new rhyming line to a poem as a beautiful garden of flowers, insects, and animals grows. A surprise interaction among the garden residents takes place at the end of the book. Young readers will enjoy the repeated patterns in the story.
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The Very Hungry Caterpillar
by Eric Carle
Philomel Books, New York. 1969
Grades: K–3
Follow the progress of a hungry little caterpillar as it eats its way through a varied and very large quantity of food until, full at last, it forms a chrysalis around itself and goes to sleep. A good opportunity to correct the common misuse of the word “cocoon” (moths emerge from cocoons), with the correct term “chrysalis” for butterflies.
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We Hide, You Seek
by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey
Greenwillow, New York. 1979
Grades: Preschool–2
Young readers, led by a bumbling rhinoceros, try to find animals that are hidden in their natural environment. A delightful introduction to the concept of camouflage.
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Where Butterflies Grow
by Joanne Ryder; illustrated by Lynne Cherry
Lodestar Books/E.P. Dutton, New York. 1989
Grades: K–5
Here’s a delightful description of what it might feel like to change from a caterpillar into a butterfly. Structure, metamorphosis, locomotion, camouflage, and feeding behaviors are all described from the point of view of the butterfly. Also included are gardening tips on how to attract butterflies. This is a beautiful book and offers unusually detailed drawings of metamorphosis.
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Where Does the Butterfly Go When It Rains?
by May Garelick; illustrated by Leonard Weisgard
Scholastic Book Services, New York. 1961
Out of print
Grades: Preschool–3
The child narrator describes, in simple rhyming text, how various insects and animals might respond to rain and questions what he doesn’t understand, “Where does the butterfly go when it rains?” Good model of questioning process, ending with the idea to go out and find a butterfly and observe its behavior. A good tie in to Session 3 where students observe butterflies in nature.
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Who’s Hiding Here?
by Yoshi
Picture Book Studio, Saxonville, Massachusetts. 1987
Grades: Preschool–3
This magnificently illustrated book is about animals that use camouflage to protect themselves. Each page has a full-color batik-style illustration as well as a riddle that ends with the predictable question, ”Who’s hiding here?” Two pages of information on camouflage and mimicry are included at the end for older readers.
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Wild Wild Sunflower Child Anna
by Nancy W. Carlstrom; illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
Macmillan Publishing Co., New York. 1987
Grades: Preschool–1
This poetic and vividly illustrated story is about a young child’s playful adventures with nature and shows potential butterfly habitats. Young listeners will enjoy the lively verse; they can also recite the poem aloud.
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