Kiran Millwood Hargrave picks her top 5 butterfly books

Published on: 23 May 2017 Author: Robbie Hunt

Kiran Millwood Hargrave is the award-winning author of The Girl of Ink & Stars, which  won the 2017 Waterstones Children's Book Award. Inspired by the beautiful cover of her new novel, The Island at the End of Everything, we asked Kiran for her top five children's books featuring butterflies…

1. The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo (HarperCollins)

The Butterfly Lion is possibly my favourite Michael Morpurgo book, alongside Kensuke's Kingdom. This beautiful, bittersweet tale of a boy and his lion is both sad and heart-warming - and the final pages, where the butterflies truly come into play, are amongst the best ever written. I urge you to read it!

2. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (Puffin)

A slight spoiler alert if you haven't read it, but I doubt there are many readers left who haven't! This was one of my first favourite books, and I still relate more than ever to a creature that wants to eat everything. I'm still waiting for my transformation, though… If you enjoyed this classic, try Elmer and the Butterfly by David McKee next (it's published by Andersen Press).

3. Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson (Macmillan)

Maia is taken from her English boarding school and thrust into the heart of the Amazon in this brilliant adventure story about discovery and what makes a family. She witnesses so many wonders - amongst them, butterflies. I re-read this frequently while I was writing The Girl of Ink & Stars, and again when I was working on The Island at the End of Everything.

4. The Butterfly Club by Jacqueline Wilson (Doubleday)

When Tina is paired up with the school bully Selma to build a butterfly garden, she isn't happy about it. But Jacqueline Wilson uses the beauty and fragility of butterflies to draw both characters in full colour, and it turns into a book about friendship and the courage to be who you are.

5. Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield (Electric Monkey)

This is one for slightly older readers - and it's a little bit of a cheat, because (as the title suggests) the butterflies in this book are paper. A gorgeous take on an ugly tale, Paper Butterflies explores themes of abuse, freedom, and above all, hope.

Watch Kiran reveal her top five (and very surprising) facts about butterflies below.
Kiran's new book The Island at the End of Everything - an irresistibly poetic story of belonging, discrimination and the unbreakable bond between mother and daughter - is out now. 

Kiran Millwood Hargrave's favourite facts about butterflies

Topics: Nature, Features

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