Spread Your Wings: Butterfly Birthday by Harriet Ziefert
WINTER IS NEARLY OVER.
THE SUN WARMS THE FROZEN GROUND.
PURPLE CROCUSES ARE THE FIRST TO ANNOUNCE THE COMING OF SPRING.
Yes, spring is in the air, and the beetles and ants and crickets greet each other joyfully as they emerge from their cold-weather haunts. But there is a separate, special excitement in the air. Something more is about to happen, and the insects bustle about, preparing for some sort of party. Spiders spin webs to help feed the hungry bugs and ants totter under tasty tidbits. Some kind of celebration is in the works.
A CARDINAL RETURNING FROM WARMER WEATHER NOTICES THE ACTIVITY, BUT LEAVES THE INSECTS ALONE.
EVEN HE KNOWS THIS IS A SPECIAL DAY.
The little bugs are all agog. What can be happening?
Then an older, wiser insect gives the little ones a hint. Grandma Beetle takes a little one and shows him the delicately beautiful chrysalises hanging from the twigs, flecked with sparkling dots.
"THE CATERPILLARS WERE NOT JUST BUSY MUNCHING LEAVES," SAYS GRANDMA BEETLE.
"THEY GAVE US DECORATIONS FOR OUR PARTY."
"BUT WHERE DID THE CATERPILLARS GO?" ASKS LITTLE ANT.
Ah, a wise child, that one. And soon the young ones see why they are all assembled for a celebration. It is the vernal equinox, Grandma tells them, and if they watch above them, they will see something wonderful. It's the spring birthday of the butterflies, breaking out of their chrysalises, pumping their wings until they are full and beautiful, and flying forth to greet the great day, the first day of spring, their metamorphosis signaling the turning of the seasons and many more birthdays for all.
Joining her set of books celebrating the turning of the seasons, Harriet Ziefert's latest, Butterfly Birthday, illustrated glowingly by Mark Jones, joins her Snow Party and By the Light of the Harvest Moon celebrating the seasons. Pair this one, complete with tactile and be-sparkled beautiful butterflies with Jane O'Connor's Fancy Nancy: Bonjour, Butterfly to kick off a nature study session centered on the variety and beauty of butterflies.