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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Handle With Care

On a day when spring snow is falling, it is nice to think about the butterflies growing at El Bosque Nuevo, a butterfly farm in Costa Rica. Author Loree Griffin Burns and photographer Ellen Harasimowicz take readers to that haven for the delicate winged insects in their new book Handle With Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey. Beginning with arrival of a silvery package at the Butterfly Garden at the Museum of Science in Boston, the book takes the long route - to Costa Rica - to describe the incredible life stories of various butterflies.

Greenhouses act as protective homes for the larva as they progress through various changes and moltings. The farmers constantly monitor food supplies and developmental stages, while keeping watch for holes in the structure that would allow predators to enter. Imagine thousands of caterpillars eating all the leaves in a greenhouse in just one or two days! "There are so many that if you stood next to this tree with your eyes closed, you would hear the caterpillars chewing!"

So much about this book is wonderful...the insect words, the glossary, the suggestions for further reading. But it is the photographs that truly help the butterflies take center stage. 

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