Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Airplanes In The Garden -- Kids, Butterflies, and Summer Fun

Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and camp counselors! We haven’t hit the solstice yet, but Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer. Time to think about what the kids will be up to for the next few months. Would you like to divert them away from mind-numbing, thumb-mashing video games and get them into the garden for some good clean dirty fun? Then flip open a copy of Joan Z. Calder’s book, Airplanes In The Garden: Monarch Butterflies Take Flight, and get ready for action.

I can’t think of a more rewarding, long-lasting summer strategy for entertaining (and stealthily educating) youngsters than reading this fancifully illustrated, engagingly written, instructional book. It’s about Sergio and Stanley, a couple of monarch caterpillars who appear one day in a young girl’s garden.

The story opens with pigtailed Bonnie delighting in a small squadron of graceful monarchs wafting through her family’s garden. When her mom asks her what she’s up to, Bonnie replies, “Mom, there are airplanes in the garden!” Her fertile imagination sees the flowers as airports, where butterflies pick up “babies and moms and dads to take them on a trip.”

Read more about this delightful book, click over to my blog at Fine Gardening.

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