Book for Young Artists and Scientists

Today I have a book for young artists and scientists.  I have to honest with you guys.  The first time I saw this book I was not particularly enthused to pick it up.  If it hadn’t gotten a lot of positive press it may have stayed in my TBR pile for quite some time.  But I did pick it up and call me surprised.  Maria Merian was a badass feminist.  She significantly forwarded the study of entomology when women were expected to be seen and not heard.

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Title: The Girl Who Drew Butterfliesbook for young artists and scientists the girl who drew butterflies

Author: Joyce Sidman

Target: Grades 4-7

Series: No

What this book is about:

This is a visual and written biography of one of the first naturalists from the 1600s, an artist named Maria Merian.  She loved bugs when such things were considered witchcraft.  However, Maria had an inkling that the butterflies she admired and painted did not generate spontaneously.  She carefully documented from egg to caterpillar to butterfly the metamorphosis that occurred.  Her paintings are works of art that also document science.

Why I love this book:

  • Ok, I cannot lie.  This book didn’t jump out at me at first and I hesitated reading it because the topic didn’t feel compelling.  However, consider my mind blown.  Once I got into the story of Maria I was swept right up.  This woman was a feminist, an artist, and an explorer at a time when women were meant to simply support their husbands and homes.  I am amazed at all she was able to accomplish with no formal education and given her gender.
  • I loved the layout of the book.  Her paintings are featured along with her own words.  There are also insets that share things going on at the time with readers as well as photographs to accompany her discoveries.  A vast array of material is very well organized to support the story and enhance the explanations.

Who this book is for:

This is a great choice for kids who need a nonfiction book or who simply like to learn about real people.  Kids who like historical fiction should enjoy this one because it reads more like a story than a biography.

Final thoughts:

This is a gorgeous book that will surprise readers who may think of nonfiction as less lyrical and more full of stated facts.

To purchase this book:

Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Girl Who Drew Butterflies.  A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.