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Handle with Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  345 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
Some farms grow vegetables or grains, and some raise cows, sheep, chickens, or pigs. But have you ever heard of a butterfly farm? How do you raise a butterfly?
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 1st 2014 by Millbrook Press (first published January 1st 2014)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 07, 2014 Kate rated it it was amazing
As someone who's raised my share of Monarchs on the back porch, I thought I'd seen pretty much everything when it comes to the butterfly life cycle book. I was wrong. HANDLE WITH CARE is a stunningly photographed, thoughtfully researched work of nonfiction that looks not only at the life cycle but also the ways in which that life cycle serves the Central American community where butterflies are sustainably farmed and then sent to museum butterfly houses around the world. It's a magical journey - ...more
Lauren Waters
Sep 10, 2016 Lauren Waters rated it really liked it
This is awesome for teaching sequence and the life cycle of butterflies. I liked the inclusion of photos to show the process.
Others have raved about this book and finally I got it from the library. What a clear story about butterflies and their journey from the egg. And this book adds more because it is also the story of a group in Costa Rica who are raising butterfly pupae for museums all over the world so that everyone can learn about butterflies. The explanations are told in a story with added information on each page. The photographs serve as illustrations showing the stages from egg to butterfly and those at the ...more
Jan 16, 2014 Susan rated it it was amazing
Wow! Loved everything about this nonfiction title! The text is well paced and provides an appropriate amount for information on the topic. The photographs are stunning and add to the appeal of the book. And seriously, who could possibly resist picking this one up just because of the cover!

Add this title to your non-fiction MUSH BUY list!

ARC provided by NetGalley
Edward Sullivan
May 07, 2014 Edward Sullivan rated it it was amazing
A wonderful close up look at a butterfly farm in Costa Rica, beautifully illustrated with color photographs.
Jul 24, 2016 Carolanne rated it really liked it
Excellent photos!
Katherine Austin
Dec 01, 2016 Katherine Austin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reading-4050
1) Book summary, in your own words (3 pts)
-Students can learn about butterflies and their metamorphosis process in this interesting picture book. The book talks about how there are even people whose job it is to harvest caterpillars and nurture them until they turn into butterflies. The illustrations in the book do a great job of capturing students' attention and enhancing their understanding.
2) Grade level, interest level, lexile (1 pt)
-Kindergarten-2nd grade
3) Appropriate classroom use (subje
Feb 26, 2014 Tasha rated it it was amazing
When I started this book, I expected a beautiful book about the life cycle of butterflies, but then discovered this was so much more! In Costa Rica there is a farm that raises butterflies. The book begins by showing what a container received in the mail that is full of butterfly pupae looks like. The life cycle of butterflies is explained as is the pupa stage in particular. Then we head to Costa Rica and the farm itself and here is where the book turns into an amazing tour of sustainable ...more
Disclaimer: I was lucky enough to receive an advanced reading copy on netgalley. Thank you Lerner Publishing Group!

Handle With Care captures your imagination from the moment you lay eyes on its stunning cover. A glistening chrysalis hangs centre stage, teasing you with thoughts of what treasure both it, and the book contains.

Between them, Griffin Burns (the author) and Harasimowicz (the photographer) have created a title to feed both inquisitive minds and greedy eyes alike. Stunning and distinct
Dec 17, 2014 Chris rated it it was amazing
This review is based on a digital ARC provided by Netgalley.

This incredible book, filled with brilliantly crisp photographs, will excite the imagination of children everywhere, as they learn about the four part life cycle of the blue morpho butterfly. Told in easy to understand language, with accompanying photos, each part of the life cycle of the butterfly is outlined and explained. The really unique thing about this book is that it shows children exactly how the butterflies they see at their
Feb 04, 2016 Autumn rated it it was amazing
Nonfiction/Twin Text Entry #3

This book uses illustrations, maps, charts, pictures, and definitions to help understand the life cycle of butterflies. The book also has a genre of textbook. An example of this would be the page the discusses what a pupa is. Loree Burns uses a photo with a caption, a life cycle chart, and small paragraph discussing the life cycle stages. This is great because it can adapt to many different readers. Some students will prefer to look at the picture and life cycle char
Sharon Tyler
Mar 21, 2014 Sharon Tyler rated it really liked it
Handle With Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey is a nonfiction children's book written by Loree Griffin Burns and illustrated by Ellen Harasimowicz. The book describes the work done on a butterfly farm in Costa Rica, as well as the journey the farmed butterflies take. Workers care for these delicate, winged creatures as they change from eggs to caterpillars to pupae. Like any other crop, the butterflies must eventually leave the farm. But where will they go, and just how do you ship a butterfly? ...more
Deb Jones
Mar 26, 2014 Deb Jones rated it it was amazing
Many butterfly books explain the transformation of a caterpillar, but this is the first book I have read that explains how butterflies are shipped to museums and where they begin their journey. Handle with Care An Unusual Butterfly Journey, written by Loree Griffin Burns, describes how a unique butterfly farm in Costa Rica cares for these delicate creatures. You will learn how long each stage of a butterfly transformation lasts, but also how hard these farmers work to preserve the life of these ...more
Beyond the Pages
Dec 11, 2013 Beyond the Pages rated it it was amazing
Handle with Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey was such an amazing book! It was attention-grabbing from cover to cover. It provided wonderfully rich educational material for both myself and my children. All in one, we had a science lesson, a geography lesson, a vocabulary lesson, a Spanish lesson and more.

I loved how this book provided general knowledge information on the life process of a butterfly, but I also loved how it went a step further and gave special tidbits about everything from how
Jan 04, 2014 Tanya rated it really liked it
This book describes for kids the lifecycle of a butterfly while depicting a butterfly farm in Costa Rica.

The photographs in this book could honestly be framed and hung in a gallery. They are just incredible really. Any kid (or adult) with a love of nature would pour over this book again and again to see the photographs within. I can think of no other children's book recently with photographs nearly as nice as these.

The text? Well, it is just okay. There is not anything wrong with it, but it do
What makes this non-fiction, informational picture book so special is that it talks about the life cycle of a butterfly in a story format that is engaging to young readers. And in addition to the very interesting butterfly story, we get to see fantastic photographic artwork and infographics, most with captions, that perfectly capture the story. Sometimes with non-fiction books, young readers are left scratching their heads trying to figure out complex vocabulary or trying to match the ...more
Sarah Gutekunst
Feb 23, 2015 Sarah Gutekunst rated it it was amazing
I paired Handle with Care with Charlie the Caterpillar by Dom DeLuise, ISBN 0-671-69358-1

I chose to pair these books for the obvious reason of containing butterflies, but also because both books show the value of the caterpillar. In Charlie the Caterpillar, Charlie simply wants a friend. He tries to play with several other groups of animals, but all of them say that he is ugly and not worth the trouble. Once he metamorphoses into a butterfly, all of the animals want him for a friend because he i
Jeromy Winter
Jun 19, 2016 Jeromy Winter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Handle with Care is a terrific non-fiction book about a butterflies journey not only through metamorphosis, but through life as a museum insect. The reader's interest is peaked from the first page where they see a foil wrapped box that has arrived at a museum. What is in this box? One learns about the many pupa inside. From the Costa Rican El Bosque Nuevo butterfly farm one can see the process a butterfly goes through to be ready for shipment to museums. This story uses illustrations, maps, ...more
There are many different kinds of farms out there, but this is the first time I've heard of butterfly farms. It makes a great deal of sense that there would be such a thing, I've just never thought about it before now. This book beautifully describes what happens on a Costa Rican butterfly farm, how the butterflies are raised and transported to places around the world. The photographs do a wonderful job of illustrating what the author is describing. The extra information at the end is very ...more
Mar 04, 2014 Stephanie rated it really liked it
"...Have you ever heard of a butterfly farm? How do you raise a butterfly?"
This book, aimed at children in middle grades, answers those questions.With beautiful, up-close photography Handle With Care shows the journey of a caterpillar to a butterfly from El Bosque Nuevo Farm in Costa Rica to The Museum of Science in Boston, Massachusetts. This unique farm shows the process of raising butterflies and has stunning pictures of their life cycle before they are shipped around the world for other peop
Sunday Cummins
Jan 20, 2015 Sunday Cummins rated it it was amazing
Burns is one of my "go to" authors for well written informational texts. This book is no exception. Burns' book adds another dimension to traditional "life cycle" texts by integrating descriptions of the Blue Morpho butterfly's life cycle into the work of a butterfly farm in Costa Rica. This farm raises butterflies to be released into the nearby forest, but also to sell around the world; the profits go to saving the environment and the butterflies viewed around the world serve to educate ...more
Mar 13, 2014 Lynn rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile-nf
4 !/2 stars. Only lacking that half star as I think some of the photos could have a bit more explanation. For example, what are all those images on page 6? And the incredible photos on the end pages are not identified.And on pgs 16-17, are these the blue morpho? Are all photos the blue morpho? It was not clear to me.
The introduction "A mysterious package has arrived..." grabs interest. Excellent life cycle diagram, as well as the "Insect Words" explaining how butterfly and other insect life stag
IndyPL Kids Book Blog
Jan 13, 2015 IndyPL Kids Book Blog rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This book has the greatest pictures – just look at the cover! See the butterfly’s wings showing through the pupa (or chrysalis)? Inside is where a caterpillar is changing into a butterfly. That is called metamorphosis. Amazing. All of the pictures are this detailed and colorful.

The book tells the story of a butterfly farm in Costa Rica. The caterpillars live inside a greenhouse. As caterpillars they eat the greenhouse plants, but once they turn into butterflies they eat sugar water…and bananas!
Liz B
Nov 07, 2015 Liz B rated it it was amazing
This was SO INTERESTING. The pictures are all photographs, and the text explains the process of farming butterflies to be sold to museums around the world. My seven-year-old also found it interesting, and I found myself telling my husband all about it as I was reading. After finishing, I noticed that the writer/ photographer pair who did this book also wrote The Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe--and it all made sense. Fascinating writing and photography about insects and the ...more
One of the most beautiful books I've ever laid eyes on! Incredible photos take readers up close and personal with the life stages of butterflies. Scientific terminology is used interchangeably in text building vocabulary with each page.

Back matter includes special focuses on life cycles, insect terms, a glossary, a further reading section, a bibliography and an author's note.

The text is simple enough to be shared with a preschooler, yet the photos are a big enough draw for a 5th grader giving t
Pam P
May 05, 2014 Pam P rated it it was amazing
This book captures interest right away with beautiful and unusual pictures of caterpillar pupae at the beginning and butterflies at the end (clever!). Children and adults who know a good deal about butterflies can still learn from this book that shows a farm in Costa Rica that grows butterflies to sell to museums. I learned about pupariums, how much the caterpillars can eat, how the pupae are shipped, and so much more. The time release photography of an actual butterfly emerging from its pupa is ...more
Aug 29, 2014 Carol rated it really liked it
This beautiful informative picture book is a treat. The gorgeous photography shows a butterfly farm in Costa Rica as they workers tend butterflies, caterpillars and pupae of the blue morpho butterfly. Great care is taken to provide a safe environment with the necessary food for these creatures. When the butterflies emerge some are released in to the forest and others back into the farm to keep the cycle going. I love that pupae are shared around the world to help others learn more about ...more
Jennafer Harris
Apr 09, 2014 Jennafer Harris rated it it was amazing
I would pair "Handle with Care:An Unusual Butterfly Journey" with Alan Madison's "Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly". Both books talk about the process of metamorphosis. They also both talk about how carful we have to be with butterflies in captivity. "Handle with Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey" give more indepth details about the entire process of transforming from an egg all the way a butterfly and how these they are handled when in human care. "Velma Gratch and the Way Cool ...more
Susan  Person
Jul 13, 2014 Susan Person rated it really liked it
This fascinating non-fiction book shows the way in which Blue Morpho butterflies are raised on a butterfly farm in Costa Rica and then transported to museums all over the world while they are still in the pupa stage. Detailed color photographs trace the journey from the beginning: egg to larva to pupa to butterfly. It’s a delicate and complicated process - brought to life in the pages of this book. Readers in grades 2 - 5 will learn a lot and be fascinated by the details, and can do additional ...more
Jan 29, 2014 Margie rated it it was amazing
Handle with Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey written by Loree Griffin Burns with photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz is a captivating read about a topic of which many students will be unaware. After reading this book, I guarantee their appreciation for their world and those caretakers in it will increase. The closing pages of the title include Insects and their Life Cycles, Insect Words, a Glossary, Further Reading, a Selected Bibliography, an Index and an Author's Note.

My full review: http://b
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Loree is a scientist-turned-writer specializing in books about science and nature for young readers. You can learn more about her adventures and her books by visiting her website ( or by following her blog (
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