If You Want to Be a Butterfly

by Muon Thi Van (Author) Andrea Armstrong (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

From acclaimed author Muon Thi Van comes an innovative exploration of a butterfly's life cycle -- in reverse. "If you want to be a butterfly, then arise, unfurl and welcome the waiting world," the narrator of this playful book begins.

Readers will flit from flower to flower with an adorable butterfly...hold on tight with a chrysalis through all sorts of weather...munch away with a greedy little caterpillar...sit very, very still and dream big with a teeny tiny egg. It's a magical journey back in time, ending up...at the beginning!

Award-winning author Muon Thi Van's lyrical language and use of the second person make this delightful picture book a perfect choice for interactive read-alouds, sure to spark the imagination and free the butterfly in every child. Lively and engaging, it promotes curiosity, observation, interpretation and discussion.

Charming illustrations by Andrea Armstrong add personality to the butterfly that befits each stage of its development. This is a unique and captivating introduction to a key life science curriculum topic. The book ends with a full description with illustrations of the butterfly's life cycle that highlights the important role butterflies play in ecosystems.

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An appealing and uplifting examination of a little life in progress.

Review quotes

A quirky but appealing story, suited for a one-on-one bedtime reading or inspiring imaginations in story hours.—School Library Journal (Praise for If You Were Night)
Muon Thi Van
Muon Thi Van loves to read books of all shapes and sizes. She first began reading yellow-spined hardbacks about a certain girl detective before graduating to longer novels and then picture books (it's true, she doesn't remember reading picture books as a young child). So few books reflected her formative experiences, though, that she desired to bring new and different stories into the world. Muon has written many picture books for children, including Wishes, If You Were Night and One Is a Lot, and her books have received many distinctions and awards. She lives in Northern California with her family.
Miki Sato is a Japanese Canadian illustrator who uses a variety of different papers and fabrics to create layered, three-dimensional-looking illustrations. She enjoys experimenting with new textures and incorporates materials such as embroidery thread, glass beads, cotton balls, and sand into her illustrations. Miki lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Kids Can Press
Publication date
October 20, 2023
BISAC categories
JUV029010 - Juvenile Fiction | Nature & the Natural World | Environment
JUV002300 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Butterflies, Moths & Caterpillars
JUV070000 - Juvenile Fiction | Poetry (see also Stories in Verse)
Library of Congress categories

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