Handle with Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey

Backorder (temporarily out of stock)

Product Details

Millbrook Press (Tm)
Publish Date
10.0 X 9.9 X 0.5 inches | 0.95 pounds
Library Binding

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

LOREE GRIFFIN BURNS, Ph.D., did her doctoral at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The author of Beetle Busters, Tracking Trash, and The Hive Detectives, she is an award-winning writer whose books for young people have won many accolades, including ALA Notable designations, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book Award, an IRA Children's Book Award, a Green Earth Book Award and two Science Books & Films (SB&F) Prizes.

Loree holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry and her books draw heavily on both her passion for science and nature and her experiences as a working scientist. She lives with her husband and their three kids in a farmhouse in central New England, where she gardens, keeps chickens, and writes about science and scientists. She likes to think that one day she'll fill the big old barn on their property with horses.

Learn more about Loree at loreegriffinburns.com and follow her on Twitter @loreegburns.

ELLEN HARASIMOWICZ is a freelance photojournalist who has photographed professionally since 2003. Her work has appeared in the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, and Scientific American.

She photographs primarily for independent schools in Massachusetts, but her real love is travel. Her travels, on assignment and for personal projects, have taken her to more than 30 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, North America, the Caribbean and Central America. Her love for travel stems from her curiosity, which led her to the world of children's literature.

Since 2006, Ellen has illustrated four children's books with her photographs, including three middle-grade books with Loree Burns: The Hive Detectives, Citizen Scientist, and Beetle Buster.

Ellen lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Paul; her work can be seen at ellenharasimowicz.com. Follow Ellen on Twitter @ellharas.


"An explanation of the life cycle of butterflies gets an intriguing twist in this account of the work of a Costa Rican butterfly farm, where blue morpho butterflies are raised and the pupae eventually shipped to museums for display and observation. Detailed discussion of each stage in the butterfly life cycle--egg, larva, pupa, and adult--is accompanied by wonderfully sharp, close-up photographs that show intricate structural details, including a three-image sequence that illustrates the emergence of an adult blue morpho from its brilliant emerald-green pupa. It's a bit disconcerting, but also fascinating, to see the industrial overlay on a natural process: eggs are laid on cultivated plants within netted greenhouses, caterpillars at the right age are transferred to an isolated section called the puparium when they're ready to transform, and piles of plucked pupae are sorted and laid out for packaging and shipment. Additional information about metamorphosis, a glossary, and further reading are appended." --The Horn Book Magazine


"Burns focuses first on the life of the blue morpho butterfly at the El Bosque Nuevo butterfly farm in Costa Rica and concludes with its final destination, the Museum of Science in Boston. Bold statements emphasize the details of the expedition through punchy phrases. 'Sturdy and tightly sealed, these ingenious packages are ready to travel.' Factual back matter further supports the story. Additional information appears in the section 'Insects and Their Life Cycles, ' which discusses the process of metamorphosis. Crisp, full-page photographs capture each impressive stage of the butterfly's journey. Vocabulary is clearly defined within the text, and the glossary explains scientific terms used within the narrative. At the end, the author notes that she and the photographer visited the Costa Rican greenhouse to capture this amazing process. This fascinating topic, rarely featured for a young audience, offers an accessible, visual delight." --starred, School Library Journal


"Beautiful butterflies on view in museums and gardens across North America begin life on farms in Costa Rica.
In words and pictures, an experienced author-illustrator team explains the stages of butterfly metamorphosis that allow these popular insects to be raised at El Bosque Nuevo in the Costa Rican forest for the butterfly garden in the Museum of Science in Boston. This large, square album perfectly complements primary-grade butterfly studies. Crisply reproduced photographs show butterflies in all their stages, the greenhouse and other farm buildings where they are bred and grown, farm workers tending the caterpillars and collecting and packing the pupae, and finally, a child in Boston watching an adult butterfly emerge. A relatively simple text explains the insect's life cycle and the production process. Some science vocabulary--exoskeleton, pupa, molt--is defined in context. Only in the two-page backmatter (still aimed at the child reader) does the author use the word metamorphosis. There, she also connects the changes in butterflies to the stages of other insects. There's a map early in the narrative as well as a concluding glossary and appropriate suggestions for further reading and research. Sadly, the intriguing photographs of pupae on the front endpapers and adults on the back aren't labeled.
Despite this miscalculation, an otherwise valuable addition to any classroom library." --Kirkus Reviews


"This colorful book takes readers to a butterfly pupa farm in Costa Rica. Captured and taken to greenhouses, varieties of caterpillars eat, grow, and molt. When they grow larger, the caterpillars are transferred to screened cabinets and supplied with fresh leaves until they become pupae. Some are kept to develop into butterflies and later released into the nearby forest. Other pupae are sorted, wrapped, packed into special boxes, and sent to places such as Boston's Museum of Science. Appended pages discuss the life cycles of insects and the varied names for the stages of insect development. Using proper terminology, Burns writes clearly about the butterfly's life cycle. For libraries overstocked with books on monarch butterflies, the blue morpho butterfly is often used as an example here. Throughout the book, crisp, nicely composed photos offer excellent views of the butterflies, people, and places mentioned. This will particularly interest children who have visited exhibits of live, tropical butterflies in conservatories and museums." --Booklist