Nonfiction Monday: Nic Bishop Butterflies and Moths
Nic Bishop is quickly becoming a household name in the world of children’s lit. A bio:
- PHD-level biologist
- Sibert Honor recipient
- New Zeelander
- Current Michigan resident
I’m especially pleased with that last one. Bishop is a master of visually mesmerizing, factually outstanding nonfiction for children. The man is dedicated (more on that later), the man is knowledgeable, the man has a new book on the shelves titled Butterflies and Moths. If you don’t already own a copy, be sure to add it to your wanted list.
If you’ve read Bishop’s previous work (Frogs, Spiders) then you’re familiar with the style on display here. The text, written in basic terms, describes the characteristics, habitat, diet, and life cycle of his subjects. The uniqueness of butterflies and moths is emphasized, with pages devoted to metamorphosis and the species’ use of camouflage.
Not surprisingly, the headliner here are the visuals. The photographs, highly-detailed and close up, give the reader a vibrant and intimate perspective. Bishop also presents the caterpillars that will eventually become these winged insects. Time-lapse and image-combining techniques are also utilized with successful results, showing flight and the transformation to pupa in step-by-step detail.
Bishop is nothing if not dedicated. One shot in the book, showing a rare caterpillar that puffs up its body to look like a snake, is an example of this. As described in the afterword, Bishop waited years for the opportunity to photograph this extraordinary creature, flying to Costa Rica at the drop of a hat when he received word of its whereabouts. That’s commitment, y’all.
Butterflies and Moths will surprise, amaze, and inform young readers of all shapes and sizes. Be sure to add this highly recommended title to your collection.
Check out the Nonfiction Monday roundup at ACPL Mock Sibert blog.
Find this book at your local library with WorldCat.
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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