Moth & Butterfly Ta-Da! by Dev Petty, illustrated by Ana Aranda

Moth & Butterfly Ta-Da! by Dev Petty, illustrated by Ana Aranda. Nancy Paulsen Books, Penguin Random House, 2021. 9781524740511

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Hardcover 

Genre: Picture book

What did you like about the book? Two caterpillar friends have so much in common: lots of legs, colorful spots, and excellent leaf-chewing skills.  They even begin metamorphosis at the same time!  When Moth and Butterfly emerge, they find they still have several things in common, but also many new differences:  Butterfly has bright wings and flies gracefully, while Moth is beige and clumsy.  Butterfly prefers sunshine and is awake during the day, while Moth likes shade and flies at night, so they meet at twilight to celebrate their friendship.

Simple, straightforward, kid-friendly text is accentuated by interjections in speech bubbles (“Something AMAZING is happening in here!”) from the two title characters as well as other insects (“Happy Metamorphosis!” shouts a passing butterfly).  Vibrant full-bleed illustrations also add to the fun with clever details that will warrant multiple readings.  An afterword entitled “Is it a moth or a butterfly?” summarizes the factual information from the narrative, which will be useful for adults sharing the book with inquisitive young readers.

Anything you did not like about the book?  No

To whom would you recommend this book? Students and teachers in preschool through grade 1 will love this book!  It is perfect for discussions about friendship and celebrating differences, as well as a terrific introduction to science units on life cycles (paired with a nonfiction companion such as Melissa Stewart’s Butterfly or Moth? How Do You Know?)

Who should buy this book? Preschools, public and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Picture books

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Leigh Russell King, Lincoln Street School, Northborough, MA

Date of review: September 2, 2021

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