Butterflies and Moths
Title: Butterflies and Moths
Subtitle: A Study of the Largest and Most Beautiful of the Insects
Genre: Science & Nature/Children’s
Author: Richard A. Martin
Illustrators: Rudolf Freund (1915-1969), James Gordon Irving (1913-2012), Eloise Wilkin (1904-1987)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, New York, New York
Series: “The Golden Library of Knowledge”
Format: Hardback board book with printed cover.
Provenance: Rubber stamp of Lee Silverthorn on inside front cover.
Opening Sentence: “Summer is the time to watch butterflies.”
Random Passage: “Giant silk moths like Ailanthus do not have many days to live after they get their wings. They quickly set about their task of finding mates. Soon after the eggs are laid, the big moths die.” (from Becoming an Adult)
Goodreads Review: “I keep seeing books from this series at thrift stores and wanting to buy them because they have such a stylish vibe from the outside. But the inside is pretty bland and boring, so this is the only one I’ve actually bought. And yes, bland and boring it was. But I did learn a little about butterflies.” — Siskiyou-Suzy, May 8, 2016.
Notes: The live cycles and instincts of butterflies and moths are explained in this accessible book for children. Perhaps the most surprising aspect is that it employed Eloise Wilkin as one of the illustrators. Wilkin is now best-known for her series of Little Golden Books featuring young children and babies, such as The New Baby (1948). Although the individual artworks in Butterflies and Moths are uncredited, the one on page 31 of a mother bird feeding a grub to her baby appears to have the hallmarks of Wilkin’s work.