Secret world of butterflies by Courtney Sina Meredith

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Ill. by Giselle Clarkson. Allen and Unwin, 2018. ISBN 9781760633608
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Butterflies. Nature. Environment. Published to coincide with the exhibition 'Secret World of Butterflies' at the Auckland War Memorial Museum (June 2018-May 2019) this stunning book full of colour and information is enough to make people want to pack their bags and fly over the ditch if not already there to take in the delights that this exhibition must display.
Told in rhyming couplets, by Auckland poet, Courtney Sina Meredith, information about butterflies is there on every page to read and absorb. From large to small, from flying high to flying closer to the ground, from how they see, to how we see them, to what they eat and how they sleep, all is given in rhyming lines that beg to be read out loud, and invite the readers to predict what word will rhyme.
The stunning illustrations are luminous across each page, with detailed drawings of these insects, drawn with accuracy and interest sure to grab the attention of all who open the book. Wellington based freelance illustrator, Giselle, produces a monthly comic as well as illustrating various books and magazines.
I loved the way some pages replicated the display of butterflies in an exhibition, spaced out on a board for everyone to see, while others had full page spreads illustrating a scene in the natural world, with others set in the built environment. I loved the pages showing the camouflage used by some of these insects to stay alive and I loved reading all the information given on the last three pages.
This is a wholly fascinating book, sure to please younger readers with an inquisitive eye and those who want to know more about butterflies. Many will adore the little known facts presented: butterflies drink crocodile tears or butterflies taste with their feet, but all will look at the butterflies they see with renewed interest after absorbing this book.
Fran Knight