Butterfly Counting by Jerry Pallotta

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Count from one to twenty-six with this exploration of the world's gorgeous and diverse species of butterflies! Take a trip around all seven continents and learn to say butterfly in twenty-seven languages, including sign language. This book also touches on the life cycle, habits, and habitats of butterflies the world over. A moth fake-out and one surprise penguin add goofiness and charm.


Lush art by Shennen Bersani brings these beautiful insects to life, and Jerry Pallotta's signature humor and amazing facts make this a great read for all ages.


An unusual butterfly book introduces facts about the insects, portrays 24 different species, gives the word for butterfly in 27 languages other than English, and counts up from zero to 25.While the numeration provides the organization, this is far more than a counting book. Beginning with the fact that there are no butterflies in Antarctica, the author goes on to surprise readers with a spread of 20 colorful moths, highlighting the confusing similarities between the two species, although not explaining their actual differences. Then the proper count begins, with each page presenting a different species, an interesting fact and a word for butterfly in another language, including Mandarin, Finnish, Navajo, Tagalog and sign. From one to 10, each species is also a different solid color; Nos. 11 through 19 are multicolored, and the 20th shows eggs. Then there's a surprise: 21 different caterpillars. To finish, there are chrysalises and more butterflies. The counting, particularly in the larger groups, takes enough effort to make this interesting to the likely audience. The facts feel arbitrarily presented but they are accurate, and the illustrations, done with colored pencil and digitally manipulated, are colorful and true-to-life. Sadly, there's no index. This welcome reworking of the author's earlier Butterfly Counting Book (1998) and board book Butterfly Colors and Counting (2013) offers learning opportunities galore.
Kirkus Reviews


Expanding on the subject of their 2013 board book Butterfly Colors and Counting, Pallotta and Bersani take readers on a tour of the world's butterflies, while encouraging their counting skills. Counting up to 25, Pallotta packs a notable amount of material into the book, detailing aspects of butterfly anatomy, behavior, development, and more (readers also learn how to say butterfly in two dozen languages, including Swahili, Tagalog, and sign language). Bersani's detailed, naturalistic illustrations and Pallotta's reader-directed questions (If you were the first person to find this butterfly, what would you call it?) ought to have readers intrigued by Amethyst Hairstreaks, Blue Triangles, and other colorful varieties of butterflies.
-Publishers Weekly


A beautifully illustrated book that can be enjoyed by a wide range of readers. Beginning with zero and going up to 25, this colorful counting book explores the beauty and diversity of butterflies. The text provides rich vocabulary words, and students are able to use context clues to determine meaning. Bold colors capture readers' attention as various types of butterflies flutter in a counters 'paradise. The author explains how to say butterfly in a different language on each page (In the Hebrew language, a parpar is a butterfly. In Spanish, a butterfly is called a mariposa.). On the science end, readers learn interesting facts about butterflies, such as how they camouflage themselves and how they use their feet to taste. This book is a fun and exciting way to learn about butterflies and reinforce counting skills. VERDICT A solid concept book with eye-catching artwork.
-School Library Journal


Technically, this is a counting book, but it's a vibrant, detailed offering. Beginning with zero (a deprived penguin, in Antarctica, that will likely never have the opportunity to see a butterfly) and progressing up to 25, each page asks readers to count ever-increasing numbers of moths and butterflies. Eye-catching, realistic colored-pencil illustrations emphasizing unique colors and markings align with pithy text describing interesting life-cycle facts and tidbits of trivia, such as The color and design on the top size of butterfly wings is almost always completely different than the underside and The word for butterfly poop is 'frass.' Each entry also provides the word for butterfly in a different language, including sign language. Young readers will likely enjoy counting the crisp, vivid drawings as well as attempting to pronounce the foreign words, such as borboletapulelehua, and rama-rama, among others, while older readres might appreciate the lively commentary. This is an attractive addition to counting books and will likely resonate with fans of Elisa Kleven's Glasswings (2013).


Jerry Pallotta is an award-winning author of children's alphabet books and imaginative fiction. His books combine interesting facts, detailed research, humor, and realistic illustrations that mesmerize children everywhere. Jerry lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Linda. Alphabet books constructed around a theme helpfully provide an extra clue for deciphering the word in question. Jerry Pallotta is the king of this subgenre... The Horn Book. 
Shennen Bersani, mother of four, spent her childhood swimming, sailing, and seashell collecting. She attended the Art Institute of Boston and has been a freelance illustrator for over 15 years. She lives near Boston, Massachusetts.

Target Age: 3-7

Charlesbridge Publishing

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

0.3" H x 8.3" L x 10.9" W

32 pages

paperback or hardcover