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Kirby's Journal
Backyard Butterfly Magic

Charlotte Caldwell

Lessons about nature and conservation through the eyes of a young adventurer

On an eventful summer spent in Charleston, South Carolina, eleven-year-old Kirby, Grandma, and Grandpa plant a butterfly garden, and Kirby documents the wondrous adventures in learning that follow. Their observations, excitement, and curiosity are vividly captured through Kirby's journal and newly acquired hobby of photography as together the three discover an abundance of life just outside their own backdoor.

Including more than one hundred color photographs and a helpful glossary, Kirby's Journal inspires children of all ages to go outdoors, to watch and listen inquisitively, and to share in the magic of nature. With a playful attitude and a love of learning new things, Kirby discovers a whole new world of caterpillars, butterflies, spiders, snakes, squirrels, and more—as well as the importance of identification, classification, and conservation in learning about flora, fauna, and their natural habitats.

Author and photographer of Visions and Voices: Montana's One-Room Schoolhouses, The Cow's Boy: The Making of a Real Cowboy, and The Cow's Girl: The Making of a Real Cowgirl, Charlotte Caldwell has been a member of the North American Butterfly Association, the Xerces Society, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and the North American Nature Photographers Association. Ten photographs from Kirby's Journal were chosen through a jury of professional photographers for presentation at the 2010 North American Nature Photographer's Annual Summit Show. A graduate of Middlebury College, she holds master's degrees in environmental studies from Antioch University New England and in special education from the University of Hartford. Caldwell divides her time between Charleston and her family's ranch in Clyde Park, Montana.

"To a child, nearby nature can be a universe. Through Kirby's Journal, Charlotte Caldwell provides children with a portal into their own backyard galaxy."—Richard Louv, journalist and author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

"Kirby's Journal is an exciting, personable introduction to the study of butterflies and entomology. With digital cameras and online information, it is easier than ever for children to become backyard scientists. This book is a good way to get them started."—Dwight Williams, entomologist and director, Cyprus Gardens

"Kirby's Journal blew me away with its seamless combination of pertinent information on butterfly gardening, life cycles, and habitats mixed with other tidbits about insects and backyard wildlife in an interesting, well-rounded story of one child's summer. The result is a wonderful guidebook, resource, and story."—Amanda Segura, horticulturalist and garden education coordinator, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden

"The life cycle of butterflies is presented in detail through this attractive and readable fictitious journal. Watching butterflies in the backyard, Kirby learns about gardening, photography, and scientific observation. The photographs will attract browsers, especially images depicting the fascinating, minute-by-minute views of a monarch butterfly cracking its way out of its chrysalis. Kirby is a personable and likable character whose diary will appeal to kids. VERDICT: An entertaining and enlightening addition."—School Library Journal

"Eleven-year-old Kirby records close observations of butterflies made in [Kirby's] grandparents' Charleston, South Carolina, backyard during a summer vacation that is as good as a safari. The grandparents provide background, beginning with body parts and going on through classification, identification, the food web, and survival strategies. Kirby makes notes on oversized journal pages and adds color photographs. This pseudo-journal makes a clever invitation to a possible lifetime passion."—Kirkus Reviews

 
 

 

book jacket for Kirby’s Journal


 

CHILDREN'S LITERATURE | NATURE | ENVIRONMENT
(2015)
10 ½ x 12
56 pages
115 color illustrations
ISBN 978-1-61117-553-0
paperback, $17.95t
Young Palmetto Books
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AWARDS
2015 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards, Bronze Medal for Environmental Issues

2015 Foreword Reviews INDIEFAB Book of the Year, Finalist for Picture Books
 
 

 
 
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