At the age of three, Maria Sibylla Merian was already showing signs of wonderful creativity and talent. She was very interested in beetles, worms, caterpillars and frogs. But she lived in Germany in 1647 and those were times when many people believed those creatures were born of the mud. They were thought to be "beasts of the devil." At the age of thirteen Maria had observed the natural process of transformation and she knew that the metamorphosis was a good thing and that there was nothing to fear. Like Audobon, Maria studied nature and painted beautiful pictures of flowers and insects, plants, birds and reptiles. This is a lovely story of butterflies or what she called summer birds. Her natural curiosity rings through and the truth of their journey is revealed in the charming and brightly colored illustrations. Ages 5-9 32 pages
Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian
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Henry Holt, April 2010
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