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For moth week I have definitely saved the best for last with Jerry Pallotta's new Not a Butterfly Alphabet Book: It's About Time Moths Had Their Own Book!, illustrated by Shennen Bersani.

Our family love Jerry Pallotta's nonfiction alphabet books. They are wryly humorous (as you can tell from the title) and full of quirky facts. That's why we were thrilled to get our hands on this new one.

Don't let the name "alphabet book" dissuade you. These are serious nonfiction books that use the alphabet as a way to organize information. This one highlights 26 different species of moths, from the giant Atlas moth to the gorgeous zigzag moth (you'll see immediately how it got it's name). Along the way readers learn about aspects of moth biology, such as facts about their mouthparts, wing scales, and life cycles.

Shennen Bersani's amazing illustrations explode the myth that moths are drab or boring. You are likely to say, "Wow!" with every page turn. They are gorgeous. Seriously!

Not a Butterfly Alphabet Book will thrill budding entomologists and artists alike. Pick up a copy and find out why moths deserve their day in the sun.

Activity Suggestion:  Make your own moth alphabet book.

Gather images, take photographs, or make drawings of 26 moths with names that start with the letters from a to z. For younger children, you might want to start with the free coloring pages at the National Moth Week website. Research facts about each species and write a paragraph or two for each different kind. Assemble the pages into a book to read again and again.

There are many online tutorials on how to draw different moths. Here is a simple one to get you started.


See the moth images in our previous posts about an insect alphabet, which is split into A-M and N-Z.

Age Range: 3 - 7 years
Publisher: Charlesbridge (November 5, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1580896898
ISBN-13: 978-1580896894

Thank you for participating in Moth and Butterfly Week. Related posts:

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books. Note: this is a new link as of 10/2018.

It is common to find caterpillars in Arizona this time of year, but during a recent trip to Pennsylvania and New York State I was surprised to find both moth and butterfly caterpillars active in late October.

My sister still had lovely kale plants in her garden, as well as a caterpillar or two.

These are the larvae of the cabbage white butterfly, Pieris rapae.

The butterflies were also flitting about. My sister didn't need to worry about this one, though. It is a male. I can tell because it has a single dot of black in the middle of each forewing. The females have two dots.


It isn't quite so unusual to see goldenrod in bloom.

If you know where to look, you can also see a caterpillar.

If if it finishes developing in time, this caterpillar will likely become a moth.

Want to learn more? Try some of our Moth Blog Posts at Growing With Science:


Perhaps I should have named it caterpillar week!

Related posts for Moth Week:


Are you crazy about moths? Or know someone who is? Then you might be interested in the new adult-level book Moths: A Complete Guide to Biology and Behavior by David Lees and Alberto Zilli.

Written for scientists, natural historians, and serious enthusiasts, Moths is more than a coffee table book. It delves deeply into the world of these diverse insects, which have received much less attention than their butterfly cousins.

Want to learn more? Listen to the interview David Lees gave at Science Friday last week or take a look at an excerpt from the book, Why Are Moths Attracted to Light?


Assorted Moths (Lepidoptera) in the University of Texas Insect Collection. Public domain image; arrangement by Julia Suits; photograph by Alex Wild. Produced as part of the "Insects Unlocked" project at the University of Texas at Austin.

If you read the book, let us know what you think.

Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books (October 29, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1588346544
ISBN-13: 978-1588346544

Related posts for Moth Week: