Sonderbooks Book Review of

Butterfly Counting

by Jerry Pallotta

and Shennen Bersani

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Butterfly Counting

by Jerry Pallotta
and Shennen Bersani

Review posted July 2, 2016.
Charlesbridge, 2015. 32 pages.
Starred Review

I’ll admit, I am already a huge Jerry Pallotta fan. Why? Because 27 years ago, The Bird Alphabet Book was one of the very first books my child loved. We read it so often, she could recite whole paragraphs from the book with her cute toddler voice. Phooey, 27 years later, I can recite whole paragraphs from the book. (I especially remember, “Wait a minute, bats are not birds! Although they have wings and can fly, bats are mammals…. Get out of this book, you bats!”)

This book does a little of that playing with the reader as well. It starts with a spread of 20 moths. After counting them,

But wait . . . these are not butterflies! These are all moths. We tricked you! Moths can be very colorful.

Then it goes on to count butterflies of different varieties. The first ten butterflies are red, blue, green, purple, orange, black, white, pink, yellow, and brown. The next nine are multicolored and patterned butterflies. Then for 20 to 25, they look at the lifecycle of the butterfly, beginning with twenty Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly eggs.

Each page tells us the word for butterfly in another language. And the book is full of facts about the different varieties of butterflies.

And the book is so beautiful! The illustrator has made stunning paintings of each variety of butterfly (or moth).

It’s so easy for me to imagine a small child, like young Jade, avidly learning and reciting these facts.

The last page shows a lovely creature with wings that go from yellow to bright pink.

A butterfly in Great Britain is called a butterfly. But don’t be silly! This is not a butterfly. It is a grasshopper. Should we write a grasshopper book next?