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Archive for the ‘Butterfly migration’ Category

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


HAPPY EARTH DAY!

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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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1267. The air is different today; the wind sings with a new tone sighing of changes coming as barbarous summer dies… ~Edited and adapted line by Rhawk


Our amazing Monarchs are migrating to Mexico. Only spotted four here at The Farmstead in Central Maine this July and August. October’s calling, “Collect those milkweed pods. Save the seeds to plant and feed next year’s amazing Monarchs.” ~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author http://www.4writersandreaders.com

Sacred Touches

“I grow old, I grow old,”
the garden says.
It’s nearly October.
~Robert Finch

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The gentian’s bluest fringes
Are curling in the sun;
In dusty pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.

The sedges flaunt their harvest,
In every meadow nook;
And asters by the brook-side
Make asters in the brook,

From dewy lanes at morning
The grapes’ sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.

By all these lovely tokens
September days were here…
~Adapted part of a poem
by Helen Hunt Jackson

All things must come to an end and I can’t say I’m sorry to see summer finally go! We’ve had some lovely cool mornings of late and warm, honeyed afternoons, not hot but warm, and that is such a relief! I pray that as we welcome October tomorrow, this is the way we’ll continue be blessed in the coming days. And…

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SENSATIONAL SUMMER: A Monarch Butterfly Poem by Bette A. Stevens


Illustrations for Sensational Summer are from Bette's award-winning children's picure book, AMAZING MATILDA.

Illustrations for the poem “Sensational Summer” are from Bette’s award-winning children’s picture book, AMAZING MATILDA.

Much like a Monarch butterfly, the summer is quickly flying past us here at The Farmstead in Central Maine. In fact, it won’t be long before these amazing butterflies begin their great southern migration to Mexico, where they’ll aggregate (cluster in dense tree cover) to keep warm, enabling this generation of monarchs to winter over before they mate and begin the next generation’s migration north for the 2017 season.  Matilda (a Monarch butterfly and the main character in my picture book AMAZING MATILDA) and I wish you and yours a sensational summer! ~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator 

We invite you to take a look inside AMAZING MATILDA, A Monarch’s Tale and check out other books by Bette A. Stevens

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Threats to Monarch Butterflies and How We Can Help


Monarch butterflies—find out more about these amazing pollinators! ~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator and advocate for Monarch butterflies http://www.4writersandreaders.com

La Paz Group

A Monarch butterfly caterpillar feeding on the leaves of a milkweed plant. Photographed at the Grapevine Botanical Gardens. Photo © TexasEagle/Flickr through a Creative Commons license, via TNC

We’ve covered monarch butterflies plenty of times in the past, whether it was reporting survey results showing that many households in the US would pay to help create habitat for the species, showcasing a citizen science project by the Xerces Society to count the winged invertebrates during their migration, or simply highlighting the needs of the orange butterfly in general and how to become involved. Now, given increased media coverage of the Monarch, the Cool Green Science blog for The Nature Conservancy is summarizing hazards and helpers of the species:

Twenty years ago, monarch butterflies occupied so much area in Mexico during the winter you could see it from space. It totaled about 20 hectares, or almost 50 acres, with…

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MEET THE AUTHOR: Christina Steiner (children’s literature)


CHRISTINA STEINER author picChristina Steiner is an award-winning writer of two illustrated children’s books The Sad Tree and Pronuba and The Fantastic Travels of William and the Monarch Butterfly (Outskirts Press 2013, 2015). As a nature enthusiast, she likes to introduce children to the wonders of the living world around them. Steiner writes fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

Other accomplishments include being featured in the Moorpark Review 2013, the West Winds Centennial, California Writers Club 100 year anthology in 2010, and an honorable mentioning in the 77th Annual Writer’s Digest Competition 2008.

Born and raised in Switzerland, Christina made Southern California her home and raised two daughters. When not writing or reading, she hikes with her dogs, rides her horse, makes wine with her partner and enjoys the beauty that nature offers.

It’s wonderful to have Christina Steiner with us today. I’ve fallen in love with both of her children’s books (outstanding children’s literature inspired by nature) and can’t wait to send copies to my youngest grandson to read and enjoy. Now it’s time to meet the author. Tell us more about yourself, Christina.

If I can be outdoors, I usually am. I prefer mountains to the ocean but living in California offers both. Nature in its bounty always amazes and enthralls me. A bad day gets whisked away after a walk on the beach or in the local hills.

How about your family?

My roots are in Switzerland. Growing up as the youngest of five, I learned from my siblings what was accepted and what not. Small town living has advantages and perils. Any misbehaving in the town usually reached my parent’s ear before I could make it home.

Living in America and raising my two daughters was different, everything seemed larger than life. I had the big advantage to live in a semi-rural area of Los Angeles at the time so I could instill the wonders of nature by exposing my children to the local wildlife and our domestic animals which included horses, sheep, goats, dogs, cats and even a llama. Now I live with my partner and four dogs in Ventura, California.

How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you normally do?

I always loved to write. My earliest competition was an essay for a newspaper in third grade. I did win second place. Later I wrote journals all through my teenage years which included poetry, at that time in German. My dream of writing my own book didn’t happen until much later when my children were grown. English became the language of choice as a writer. I joined local writing communities and profited a lot through critique groups and encouragements of follow writers. The dream became a passion.

SYNOPSIS OF BOOKS (Click cover images to find Christina’s books on Amazon  and take a look inside these beautifully written and illustrated children’s books.)

cover (1)The Sad Tree and Pronuba tells the story of the symbiotic relationship between the Joshua tree and the Pronuba moth.

The Fantastic Travels of William and the Monarch Butterfly is a chapter book. A North Dakota boy rides along with Anka, an eastern, fourth-generation Monarch butterfly to central Mexico and back. During the journey William learns the intricate life cycle of the Monarch butterfly, survival and friendship

What prompted you to write The Sad Tree and Pronuba

I visited the Mojave Desert and climbed Malapai Hill in Joshua Tree National Park. Fascinated by one of these strange Joshua trees, I wanted to know everything about them. The relationship of two different species, The Joshua tree and the Pronuba moth, show how exquisite and unique nature presents itself.

Favorite line: I must go—I’m so busy, I’ve got to blow. (Reminds me of our busy lives.)

Favorite character: Pronuba moth, she’s so upbeat and joyful.

William & the Monarch Butterfly CHRISTINA STEINERThe Fantastic Travels of William and the Monarch Butterfly was prompted by a suggestion from my partner. We live close to a grove that western Monarch butterflies choose for their winter quarters. Sadly the population of butterflies greatly diminished. After extensive research I decided to set the story for an eastern Monarch butterfly. For a small creature to fly the distance to the Oyamel fir forest and survive the winter in this unique environment to assure the continuation of the species is another example of the incredible natural world.

Favorite line: Anka speaking to William . . . “You and I share this world. We all have our purpose. I know mine from the get-go. You will have to figure yours out as you grow. But there is a reason why we’re here, why we’re alive.”

Favorite character: Anka, the Monarch butterfly. As she matures, she becomes incredibly sage.

What was the hardest part of writing your children’s books?

To write the stories so the readers, young or old, can see the grandeur of nature and be entertained while adhering to the facts.

Do you do anything in addition to writing books?

I assist my partner in making wine, two to four varietal per year. Together we take care of our dogs. In our household we have four large dogs, three champion Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Betsy, Harvard Girl and Boomer and Sentry, a 180 lbs. Hungarian Kuvasz. Every morning we take them to a leash-free park close by for training and exercise. Several times a week I ride my horse Xena, stabled in Moorpark. These outdoor activities balance out the time spent on the computer.

My two grandchildren, twins—a boy and a girl, spent most Sundays with me while my daughter is at work.

I attend a tutor-training workshop at the local library to become a volunteer tutor and help adults to achieve better reading and life skills.

My books are available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, outskirtspress.com and some local independent book stores.

What’s next for author Christina Steiner?

I finished a series of articles called Predators in the Backyard. Each talks about the intricate lives of insects or spiders commonly found in the backyard and the significance they have in mythology.

The first draft of a new novel is nearly completed. Untitled as of now. The middle-grade fiction deals with coming of age, loss, adjustment to inner city life and forming new friendships.

It’s been wonderful to have you with us today, Christina. I highly recommend both of your beautifully written and illustrated children’s books to our readers.

Visit author Christina Steiner and find out more about her books

Readers, thanks so much for visiting today. In invite you to join the conversation (comments below). Happy reading! ~ Bette A. Stevens 

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

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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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