A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Archive for the ‘award-winning picture book’ Category

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HAPPY WEED APPRECIATION DAY—I’m Celebrating”Milkweed for Monarch Butterflies”


Weed Appreciation Day, March 28—is on its way—and so are those amazing monarch butterflies! It’s the perfect time of year to plant milkweed to ensure the survival of these endangered butterflies as they embark on the journey north from wintering grounds in Mexico. My limerick tells a bit about the monarchs’ dependence upon milkweed. The photo of his female monarch (Danaus plexippus) on a milkweed plant (Asclepias syriaca) was taken in my garden in Central Maine, where milkweed plants flourish and monarchs can find the perfect leaves to lay their eggs under each summer. Read on to find out more about milkweed and the crucial relationship this native plant shares with monarchs and how you can help these endangered butterflies by planting milkweed in your own backyard.

Why Do Monarch Butterflies Need Milkweed?

  • Milkweed is the host plant for monarch butterflies. Monarchs have a dynamic relationship with plants in the milkweed family and are completely dependent on them for reproduction. Butterflies are the reproductive phase of their life cycle. Females lay their eggs on the undersides of milkweed leaves because when the eggs hatch and the caterpillars emerge, their only source of food is the foliage of milkweed plants. The growing caterpillars feed on the leaves until they are ready to form a chrysalis and metamorphose into adult butterflies.

Mating of monarch butterflies has begun and the orange and black butterflies are flying north. Along the way, females will lay eggs on milkweed plants, recolonizing the southern United States before they die. The first spring caterpillars will hatch and metamorphose into adults. These newly emerged monarchs colonize their parents original homes. Summer monarchs live only three to five weeks compared with the eight or nine months for overwintering adults. During the summer, three or four generations of monarch butterflies will emerge, and before summer ends there will be millions of monarchs all over the United States and southern Canada.

You can play an important role in the survival of  monarch butterflies by planting the correct native variety of milkweed in your yard or garden. Learn how to create a Monarch Waystation in your own backyard and report your monarch sightings too. Helping our monarch butterflies is a great service project for families, community groups and schools. Contact Monarch Watch (an educational outreach based at the University of Kansas): www.monarchwatch.org

About the author 

Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies—an endangered species (and for milkweed, the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Stevens is the author of AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning picture book adventure that follows the life cycle of a monarch butterfly; The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, a home/school resource  incorporating hands-on math and writing; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to her début novel, DOG BONE SOUP—coming-of-age story and family drama set in 1950s and 60s New England.

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HOLIDAY SALE: eBooks by Bette A. Stevens ONLY 99¢ November 23-27


Looking for great reading adventures this holiday season?

You’ll find 5✰ reads by Bette A. Stevens at great prices (eBooks only 99¢ each) for everyone on your list from November 23rd through November 27th at http://viewauthor.at/BetteAStevens 

Happy Holidays & Happy Reading!

Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

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Sixty-six (66) 5-Star Reviews for Award-winning Picture Book AMAZING MATILDA!


MATILDA expertly as a cirus acrobat... 2016

About the book

This “Gem of a Tale” about a Monarch Butterfly teaches kids lessons in friendship, patience and persistence as AMAZING MATILDA transforms from egg to caterpillar to butterfly. (Children’s Picture Book/Ages 5-11).

Order your copies today:

AM Celebrate Season MATCHBOOK bas 2016

Related Sites:

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Celebrate EARTH DAY with a Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Monarch Butterfly eBook—ONLY 99¢ Limited Time (April 22-28)


HAPPY EARTH DAY!

Please share this post…

Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Monarch butterflies are a threatened species. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety filed a legal petition requesting Endangered Species Act protection for the monarch and its habitat.

AMAZING MATILDA written and illustrated by Maine author Bette A. Stevens:

~Click MATILDA’s cover to take a “Look Inside” on YOUR AMAZON~

“Award-winning picture book adventure follows a monarch butterfly through her life cycle and teaches kids important life lessons along the way!”

About the book

AMAZING MATILDA (Ages 5-11 + grownups love it too) Friendship, patience and persistence are among the lessons learned in this gem of a tale featuring an amazing monarch butterfly. This award-winning picture book adventure follows the monarch’s life cycle as Matilda embarks on a quest to make her dream of flying come true. Matilda emerges from her egg on a milkweed leaf, she stretches and yawns and wants to fly. Sparrow tells her to follow her dreams. Toad and Rabbit laugh at a creature without wings who wants to fly. You’ll be as amazed as Toad and Rabbit, as you follow Matilda from egg to imago.

DOWNLOAD a copy of AMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens (ONLY 99¢ April 22th–April 28th )—award-winning monarch butterfly picture book— at YOUR AMAZON

Love Monarch Butterflies?

BEYOND THE   BOOK—find resources at your finger tips: Have fun and learn even more about Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ monarch butterflies by downloading Bette’s FREE Click here: FUN & LEARNING with Monarch Butterflies PDF where you’ll find:

  • Monarch Facts
  • Coloring Pages
  • Crafts
  • Gardening
  • Video: How to Make an Origami Butterfly
  • Butterfly Teacher Guide and so much more…
  • FIND OUT how you can help protect our Amazing Monarchs

 Find out more about Maine author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens and her books:

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AMAZING MATILDA, Monarch Butterflies & The Purple Dragonfly Children’s Book Award


A Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) caterpi...

A Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) caterpillar feeding on a leaf of the Swamp Milkweeden (Asclepias incarnata) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Purple Dragonfly Book Awards contest recognizes excellence in children's literature.

Purple Dragonfly Book Awards contest recognizes excellence in children’s literature.

AM Look Inside NEW 2015AMAZING MATILDA: A Monarch’s Tale is a children’s picture book about a monarch caterpillar who only wants to fly. “How can a creature without wings every hope to fly?” Matilda’s friends wonder as they laugh at the tiny caterpillar. As Matilda progresses from egg to butterfly she learns that if she keeps trying, she can do anything that she really wants to do. AMAZING MATILDA’s storyline and illustrations follow the actual life cycle of the monarch butterfly and includes milkweed, an environmentally near-threatened plant. Milkweed is the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat.

Judges of the 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards contest, which recognizes excellence in children’s literature, have spoken, and AMAZING MATILDA: A Monarch’s Tale by Maine author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens, won Honorable Mention in the Picture Books – 6 & Older category.

“Winning any place in the Purple Dragonfly Contest is a huge honor because in order to maintain the integrity of the Dragonfly Book Awards, a minimum score of 72 out of 80 must be earned for a first-place award, 64 out of 80 for a second place and 56 out of 80 for an honorable mention – even if it is the sole entry in a category,” explains Linda F. Radke, president of Five Star Publications, Inc., the sponsor of the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards. “Competition is steep, too, because there is no publication date limit as long as the book is still in print.”

The book retails for $9.49 (paperback) and $3.99 (kindle/eReader) and can be purchased on YOUR AMAZON  or ask for it at your favorite bookstore. GET the eBook for #FREE when you purchase the paperback from Amazon.

You can find out more about the author and her books…

AM Look Inside NEW 2015

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May All of Your Days be Amazing!


AMAZING DAY 2 basAs a monarch butterfly conservation advocate and author/illustrator of the children’s book AMAZING MATILDA, I was fortunate to capture several photos of these amazing butterflies at our farmstead in Central Maine this summer. This one landed on our phlox. Read along to discover more about our amazing monarch butterflies, and about my children’s picture book as well.

Here’s wishing that all of your days be amazing!
~ Bette A. Stevens

Monarch butterflies are a near-threatened species. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety filed a legal petition requesting Endangered Species Act protection for the monarch and its habitat.

Eighth-generation monarch butterflies in the US and Canada migrate south each fall—destination: Mexico and California’s coast where they over-winter before mating to create the first generation of monarchs for the northern migration that begins the following spring.

AM HighResolution WhiteBorderAbout Bette’s award-winning monarch butterfly children’s book

One concern parents have is how to inspire their children to meet challenges with patience and persistence. This is the plot of the award-winning picture book, AMAZING MATILDA: A Monarchs Tale, written and illustrated by Bette A. Stevens. In this story a caterpillar wants to learn how to fly. She asks all of her friends in the meadow, but doesn’t find an easy answer. Yet, she continues the quest until, at last, she becomes what she wants to be—a butterfly. AMAZING MATILDA offers adults the opportunity to inspire the children in their lives to meet everyday challenges with patience and persistence. Matilda and her friends will show them how to make their own dreams come true!

AMAZING MATILDA is available in Paperback ($9.49) and eBook ($3.99) versions OR purchase paperback and download the eBook for FREE! Take a “Look inside” at YOUR AMAZON

Stevens, a retired teacher, accurately portrays the Monarch’s life cycle in storyline and illustration. She has done extensive research on the Monarch: its diminishing habitat (milkweed plant) and its status as an indicator species in the global environment. During her research, she learned that Monarch markings are different for males and females. Males have black spots on their back wings. Hence, her story title: AMAZING MATILDA, (no black spots) was “hatched.” The Monarch is unique among butterflies: the only one of its genus that does not hibernate, but migrates instead.

  • Explore Bette’s blog to find out more about monarch butterflies, download her FREE PDF + a FREE poster about how YOU can help protect
    these amazing creatures
    (top tabs of blog).

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AMAZING MATILDA, A Monarch Butterfly’s Tale by Bette A. Stevens


AM Celebrate Autumn DROP SHADOW 2015 bas

Missed Matilda’s October Monarch
Butterfly Migration Celebration?

No worries…

AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning picture book written and illustrated by Bette A. Stevens, is a brilliant bargain any time—eBook ($3.99) Paperback ($9.49) OR purchase the paperback and download eBook for FREE! http://bit.ly/19Qr3Y0

Children of all ages will be able to relate to monarch’s plight in some way… “This story is a true gem and one that will inspire children for years to come.” Renee Hand, award-winning adult and children’s books author. Hand reviews for the New York Journal of Books.

Find out more about our amazing monarch pollinators and take a “Look inside” of Bette’s award-winning picture book today!

“Science, adventure and wise lessons for kids!”

Monarch butterflies are a near-threatened species. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety filed a legal petition requesting Endangered Species Act protection for the monarch and its habitat.

About the book

AM cover with MonarchAMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens (Ages 4-11 + grownups love it too) Friendship, patience and persistence are among the lessons learned in this gem of a tale featuring an amazing monarch butterfly. This award-winning picture book adventure follows the monarch’s life cycle as Matilda embarks on a quest to make her dream of flying come true. Matilda emerges from her egg on a milkweed leaf—she stretches and yawns and knows she wants to fly. Sparrow tells her to follow her dreams. Toad and Rabbit laugh at a creature without wings who wants to fly. You’ll be as amazed as Toad and Rabbit are as you follow Matilda from egg to imago. Science, art and wise lessons for children—all wrapped up in a tale the kids will want to read/hear again and again!

  • Bette A. Stevens received her B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Maine at Orono before embarking on graduate courses in Curriculum Studies at Chapman University in California. She has taught in elementary and middle school classrooms in California and Virginia. Stevens is the author of AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning picture book; The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, a home/school resource incorporating hands-on math and writing; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to her début novel, DOG BONE SOUP, a Boomer’s coming of age novel published in January 2015.

Eighth-generation (2015) monarch butterflies in the US and Canada migrate south each fall. Destination—Mexico and California’s coast where they over-winter before mating to create the first generation of monarchs for the northern migration that begins the following spring.

Inspire the kids in your life with AMAZING MATILDA today and find out more about all of Bette’s books! http://viewauthor.at/BetteAStevens

Love monarch Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ butterflies?

FREE: Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ FUN & LEARNING WITH MONARCH BUTTERFLIES  (FREE pdf) from Bette
Monarch FactsColoring PagesCraftsGardeningVideo: How to Make an Origami Butterfly
Butterfly Teacher Guide and more…Find out how you can help protect our Amazing Monarchs at https://4writersandreaders.com/fun-learning-with-monarchs-2/

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

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