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