Wild Ones National Journal Writes About “Becky the Butterfly Girl”


The following article was printed in the August/September/October 2016 Issue of the Wild Ones Journal by Barbara Benish:

“Becky the Butterfly Girl” will make you wish your child or grandchild was just like Becky — inquisitive and appreciative of nature and its many wonders.

And it might just be enough to get that special child in your life interested in caring for nature, and particularly for monarch butterflies.

Written by Janet Young, a member of the Greater DuPage, Illinois, chapter of Wild Ones, the story is about a real-life girl who happens to be Young’s friend, 6-year-old Becky Lecroy.

Becky’s parents, Joe and Sue, also belong to the Greater DuPage Wild Ones chapter. “Becky comes with her mother and father to all the Wild Ones meetings, and we’ve gotten to know her and she’s gotten to know us,” Young says.

“They’ve had yard showings and visits, and Becky is always there, full of enthusiasm as she tells us things about the garden or the butterflies.”

In the book, Becky gives readers a tour of her yard, telling visitors all about her parent’s special flowers and plants that make it a safe and welcoming place for birds, bugs and butterflies. Becky’s enthusiasm is captivating and you find yourself eagerly turning each page to see just what makes her yard so special.

You’ll learn about their pond, which is home to goldfish and provides drinking water for the animals that visit. She shows you birdhouses and bee houses, and a nest with eggs in a nearby bush.

But her favorite part of the garden is the milkweed area, where monarch butterflies lay their eggs on the underside of milkweed  leaves. Once they hatch, the young caterpillars depend on the plant’s leaves for food.

Becky and her family carefully move the young caterpillars into a screened “nursery,” where she helps to take care of the caterpillars as they grow, eventually releasing them after they become butterflies.

The book explains in simple terms why lawns, while they might be neat and green, and chemicals and cement, aren’t the best for birds and bugs, and why birds and bugs depend on native plants and flowers to survive and thrive.

It also explains how to care for monarchs through – out their metamorphosis to butterflies.

Young, who is also author of Danny books for children, says she decided to write this story because children need to know more about nature.

“Kids today are so tied to computer games; this book allows them to learn … about the benefits of growing native plants and why using chemicals on plants can be harmful to birds, bugs and butterflies.”

The book is illustrated by Vladimir Cebu of the Philippines, who also illustrates Young’s Danny books. “I sent him many pictures so he would make Becky look like Becky,” Young says, noting she and Becky are pleased with the end result.

Amazon readers are also giving the book many positive reviews:

“This is a fun story for children to read; it took me back to the days when I was a kid chasing butterflies… Sometimes in our busy lives we tend to forget how things are created around us and it’s always a good reminder to stop and enjoy the beauty around us.”

“I really like the way the book was organized – as if I were taking a tour of the garden, and that the tour guide in the story is a child. I also appreciated the discussion of the importance of taking care of the world and the creatures in it.”

“I love reading about all the wonderful things you can find right in your own backyard. I feel inspired to start raising monarchs myself after reading the book.”

Published by Pine Lane Publishing, “Becky the Butterfly Girl” sells as a paperback or an e-book reader on Amazon at http://jcy.me/butterfly

August/September/October 2016 | Wild Ones Journal |  www.wildones.org


Take a Walk – with a child. . .

One of my very favorite things – with my kids and grand kids, when they were toddlers to about age 6 -was going for a walk. It can be around the block, in a park or just out in the backyard garden.

Take along a little note pad and maybe a collection container – then make it an adventure, not just a ‘walk’. Throw some ideas out to the child, then listen/encourage/play.

What do I mean by that? Well, tell the child to listen to all the sounds they hear and then to tell you about them. “Shhh. Let’s be very quiet and listen to the sounds. What do you hear? What do you think is making that sound? Can you tell me what it looks like? big or little? bird or bug or ?”

Or try “Let’s see how many animals and bugs we can see on this adventure” and when the child sees something then ask “what is that bee doing?” or “where do you think that bird is going?” or “where does that squirrel live?”

You get the idea! Listen closely to their answers. Don’t be at all critical -just go with what they tell you and ask questions that encourage more ideas and imagination.

A walk/adventure like this was the foundation of a story – about a ladybug. Walking with my 4 year old granddaughter, looking for animals and bugs, she found a little red bug on a flower leaf.

We looked at it and I asked her what it was. She said it was a ladybug. “But don’t ladybugs have spots on them? I asked.

Little Meg cocked her head, put a finger to her chin, and said to me, very seriously “Yes, but this one lost them.”

“Oh,” I said. “How would a ladybug lose her spots?”

“I don’t know!” replied Megan with a big grin. “She just did. And now they’re all gone.”

“Well,” I continued the dialog, “What is she going to do with no spots?”

“I don’t know,” said Megan. “She’s very sad.”

“Oh dear,” I said. “Shall we put her in our little jar and help her look for her spots?”

Megan thought that was a wonderful idea and, carefully, we put the leaf with the ladybug into out little jar. It was ‘game on’ for the two of us!

We saw bees on some flowers. “Do you have the ladybug’s spots?” Megan asked them as they busily flew from flower to flower.

“What did the bees say?” I asked Meg.

“They just said buzzzzz! No spots!” she answered.

We saw a big cobweb with a spider hanging from a mailbox. Megan went right over to it and said “Did you take the ladybug’s spots? euuuu – you are a scary spider.” -and she ran back to me.

“No spots!” Meg said. “Let’s go.”

So on we went … and we saw birds, a big toad, a (plastic bunny who was no help at all!) lots of bugs – and, of course, every new creature we came to got asked if it had the ladybug spots.

We arrived back home with the ladybug but no spots. “Now what shall we do?” I asked. “Can we paint some spots on her?”

That made Megan laugh. “That wouldn’t work on a Bug – silly gramma!”

“Hey,” I asked. “Would it work if a Fairy did it? Maybe we can find a fairy garden.”

That idea hit home with Meg so our next mission was to find someone who had a fairy garden. It turned out that there was a house with a sweet little fairy garden not too far away – so off we went.

When we arrived, there were no fairies at home, so we left the little ladybug, still on her leaf, right on the tiny table in front of the fairy house.

“You tell the fairies to paint you some new spots,” Megan instructed the ladybug before we left her there. “Then you can fly away home and be happy.”

That night we told Megan’s mom and daddy about our adventure walk – and later we sat down and wrote a story about it.

And now, with some new little twists and turns, the story of “Lily The Ladybug Who Had No Spots” lives forever in the pages of the book!

Share some stories with us that you have made up with your kids or grand children! If you have such a story – and would like to see it turn into a little children’s book – send me an email at jytalk2me@gmail.com

Perhaps we can make it happen – and dedicate it to your child!

Here’s the link to our Ladybug story. Enjoy!


PS: We still love to walk – but the stories are very different now! (16 years later)

A garden adventure for Lily.
Lily the Ladybug – Will she find her spots?



Becky the Butterfly Girl … takes us on a yard tour!


Love this book!
Love this book!

Becky laughs and giggles as she bounces around the yard – leading us here and there and telling us all about the butterflies!

It’s an adventure into what urban yards can be and a learning experience about the life cycle of the monarch butterflies – and how we can help them survive for the future.

The tour is complete with colorful illustrations – and cookies! ..? cookies? Well, get the book and you’ll see what I mean! 😉

Click the link to get the book:

Monster Goes to School – New Book!

Monster Goes to School !
Monster Goes to School !

It’s the last day of school and kids are bringing things to ‘show and tell’ . . . can you guess what Danny wants to bring?

And, Oh dear! If monster goes to school – will he be a good little monster, or, well, a you know, a monster!?

Get the book to find out the answers – and join the fun. Snizzle warts and hog tails – new adventures are in store!

http://jcy.me/dfh1      Don’t miss this new story!


Danny’s Missing Monster Coming Very Soon!

Missing? Where, oh where can that little monster be? He’s supposed to be in the back pack … but, he got bored and off he went.

Now, when you get lost at the Zoo, who knows what might happen to you? There are lots of scary animals that might get you – even if you are a “scary” little monster.

Scaryator - I don't wanna be lunch for an alligator!
Scaryator – I don’t wanna be lunch for an alligator!

It’s a fun story . . and monster learns some lessons along the way. Happy ending? You’ll see –

For frights and fun, be sure to get your copy of Danny’s Missing Monster. Up on Amazon kindle by Saturday, April 23rd. $2.99

April 5th – Danny Books FREE in kindle – Party Time!

In honor of author Janet Young’s birthday, April 5, all of the kindle Danny Books will be Free. Please download and enjoy!

Danny’s Magic Monster:  http://jcy.me/mgge

Danny’s Monster Mischief:  http://jcy.me/9zfp

Danny’s Dancing Socks:  http://jcy.me/ipnw

You are invited to share these links with others too! The goal is to get as many links as possible on April 5th and move up in the ranks in the kindle store!

Please help us do that. 😉

FYI – Danny’s Monster Mischief, the latest in the series, will be FREE for 3 days – April 4, 5, 6.

Coming Soon:   “Monster Missing” and “Monster Goes to School”  Lots of fun and adventures ahead for Danny and his monster friend!!

Thanks for reading and sharing!

It’s Available Now . . Monster Mischief !

Have you been waiting waiting for the next adventure with Danny and his magic monster?

Danny Book 3
Monster Mischief

This book # 3 in the Danny series is now up on amazon kindle store ! http://jcy.me/9zfp

Stand by for some colorful fun!

Will Danny really use monster to scare his sister Molly? And, if he does, how will she react? Find out the answers and get another great little book to read to the kids!

If you haven’t signed up for your Free pages to color yet, please do. I will notify you when the next Danny Book is ready to roll. . (Monster Missing)

Thanks for reading – and please leave your review if you read the Danny Books!