April 7, 2011

Wings of Light: The Migration of the Yellow Butterfly by Stephen R. Swinburne

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 9:25 pm by suebe2

Wings of Light:
The Migration of the Yellow Butterfly

by Stephen R. Swinburne

illustrated by Bruce Hiscock

Boyds Mills Press

AR 5.1

How long does it take a small yellow butterfly to flutter from Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula to New York City?  35 days.  35 Days!  Can you believe it?

Swinburne brings young readers the story of the cloudless sulphur butterfly (Phoebis sennae).  Every years these butterflies, each weighing less than a dime, migrate from the rain forests of the Yucatan, Central America and Cuba up to the southern and central United States.  In doing so, they complete a journey of 2,000 miles.

Completing the journey means avoiding predators and ocean waves.  Sometimes butterflies will catch a ride on a cargo ship making its way across the Gulf of Mexico.  Once they arrive at their destinations, they mate, lay eggs and die.

That part is sad but Swinburne ends the story focusing on the tiny caterpillar that is destined to make the same journey.

Don’t be surprised when your young reader latches onto this story.  Children will identify with the small insect that is facing great odds, and they will cheer it on.  Hiscock’s watercolor paintings are full of light and life and the brilliant colors help to draw the reader in.

Encourage your young reader to look for butterflies when they are outside.  They cloudless sulphur isn’t the only long distance traveler and you may be surprised at what your young nature enthusiast can find.





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