How To Raise Monarch Butterflies:  A Step-by-Step Guide for Kids

Firefly books, 2012, 48 pages.  Available at your local bookstore; if they don’t have it, you can request it. Also available on Chapters/Indigo, Amazon Canada, Amazon USA, and Barnes and Noble.  The paperback is less than $10  ISBN-13:978-1-77085-002-6;  hardcover is about $20 ISBN-13:978-1-77085-001-9

Retailers can purchase copies by contacting Contact Firefly Books Ltd. by email ( or toll free 1-800-387-5085 (USA) or 1-800-387-6192 (Canada).

Finalist:  Science Books and Film Hands On Science Book

Finalist:  Lane Anderson Award for the Canadian Science Book Prize

Finalist:  Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable Information Book Award

Endorsed and corrected by world renowned monarch butterfly authorities Dr. Lincoln Brower and Dr. Chip Tayor, and recommended by Today’s Parent Magazine.

Summary:  Revel in one of the most remarkable miracles of nature.   Observing a Monarch butterfly as it transforms itself from a black, white and yellow caterpillar and emerges from a chrysalis as a vivid orange, black and white butterfly is among the most thrilling experiences that nature offers. Raising Monarch butterflies from eggs collected from milkweed leaves, or from caterpillars plucked from the plant, is made easy with the help of this detailed guide to locating and hatching this distinctive insect.

With more than 70 unique, close-up photographs readers will learn about the life cycle of the Monarch and how to encourage populations in their own backyards, with tips on which plants to grow, as well as the care and feeding of their pet caterpillars. How to Raise Monarch Butterflies explains what threats face Monarchs and how readers can help conserve the Monarch’s feeding grounds from encroachment.

The Monarch’s amazing story doesn’t end after it flutters away as a butterfly. In the fall, monarchs wing their way southward toward warmer climes in Mexico and California, and congregate in mass groupings in certain regions. The following spring, the cycle begins all over again.

Here is a small sample of the editorial reviews:

This exciting new book is a great introduction to the amazing lives of Monarch butterflies, with detailed information on how to care for and raise the caterpillars. With many full-colour photographs illustrating every step and aspect of a Monarch’s life and journey, this book is a great resource for educators, parents and monarch-lovers of all ages! (Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory 2012-06-01)

A book for children to learn about monarch butterflies, their lifecycle and the benefits of monarch butterflies to the environment. Includes step-by-step instructions for raising your own crop of butterflies in your home. Great for nature lovers young and old alike. (Mari Farthing Metro Family Magazine (Oklahoma) 2012-05-01)

A step-by-step guide for children who are interested in the natural world. The book contains beautiful photographs illustrating the various stages of butterfly development. It is written in kid-friendly language and best of all, helps to enlarge the monarch population in your area. The book tells where to look for monarch eggs or larvae and how to care for and cultivate this magnificent insect. (Kim Haworth National Gardening Association 2012-04-19)

Thoughtful inspiring and informative, this Canadian book will stimulate children to want to head out the door and look for Monarch butterflies. (North Bay Nugget 2012-07-28)

[The] breezy and down-to-earth text (“greenish poops called frash”) presents many generalizations but nicely communicates the wonder of the transformative nature of this species. Especially effective is the eight-pictured depiction of the development of the caterpillar into a chrysalis. The full-color photographs are crisp and sharp for the most part, and illustrate the life cycle of the monarch and the many tasks that have to be done to ensure that the caterpillars thrive and become butterflies. This work-intensive activity might be better suited to students in a classroom than an individual at home. (School Library Journal 2012-07-01)

This guide for raising monarch butterflies gives clear directions accompanied by good, helpful, and beautiful photographs…. The book is well written, well illustrated, and very inviting. Readers will certainly want to try rearing monarchs after reading it. It is simple enough for young children, but not too simple for interested adults. Thus, the book should find a wide audience. I would recommend it for classrooms, libraries, and the general reader. (Linda Wiener, St. John’s College, Santa Fe, NM Science Books and Films 2012-05-01)

Learn everything you need to know about the monarch life cycle and how to find and raise monarchs from egg to adult butterfly. You will even learn how to cultivate a butterfly garden full of monarchs. The book features many beautiful photographs of the fascinating insect, but soon you’ll be able to take some of your own. So don’t forget a camera! (Time Magazine (Time for Kids), Green Books 2012-04-22)

Pasternak has written a clear, practical and family-friendly guide to raising butterflies, which includes plenty of compelling scientific information along the way and ends by explaining what we can do to save their habitat. (Julie Eilperin Washington Post 2012-05-01)

An incredibly satisfying family activity that can encourage youngsters to look at nature with inquisitive, open eyes, raising monarch butterflies is an easy, outdoor pursuit. Pasternak’s approachable book will certainly help families be rewarded with the wonder of metamorphosis. (Lee Littlewood Waste Management World 2012-04-22)

Written in kid-friendly language…. The photography is outstanding. Parents and grandparents looking for something to do with the kids this summer should consider this great backyard project. Incredibly detailed, Pasternak’s guide also spills with facts, close-ups and great websites to scour. (Jon Fear Waterloo Region Record 2012-06-30)

Kids who love wildlife will find much to learn in this informative and beautifully photographed book. (Sal’s Fiction Addiction 2013-02-01)

One of the most remarkable changes in nature is how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly, and this book, filled with beautiful photographs, tells kids how that change takes place and why it’s so important for the environment. The book’s easy-to-follow instructions, from finding caterpillars or monarch eggs to caring for them, will inspire you. (Tracy Grant Washington Post 2013-04-01)

Trust me — this is one of those books that belongs in every school and public library. (Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan Bookends: A Booklist Online Blog 2012-10-08)

An exquisite step-by-step guide… This book is the perfect summer companion for a young nature enthusiast! (Amanda Cannon Canadian Children’s Book News 2012-06-01)

Parents and grandparents looking for something to do with the kids this summer should consider this great backyard project. (Brenda Hoerle Guelph Mercury 2012-06-29)

Spectacular photographs add much to this informative text… a valuable addition to an elementary school library. (Carolyn Cutt Resource Links, Vol. 17 No. 5 2012-10-01)

Carol Pasternak provides an easy-to-follow guide for children to participate in the life cycle of these beautiful insects. (North Shore News 2012-11-21)

It’s the perfect step-by-step guide for children. (Nancy Harper Waterloo Region-Record 2012-06-30)

A monarch enthusiast, Pasternak clearly wants to encourage readers to develop their own fascination through experience and further education. (Sacha Vignieri Science Magazine 2012-12-07)

Toronto author Carol Pasternak’s love of monarch butterflies inspired this step-by-step guide for children. Written in kid-friendly language, it encourages youngsters six and up to help boost declining monarch populations by raising butterflies from eggs or caterpillars collected from roadsides and fields. The photography is outstanding. Incredibly detailed, Pasternak’s guide also spills with facts, close-up photos and links to great websites. (Brenda Hoerle Waterloo Region-Record 2012-12-22)