Loretta’s Pet Caterpillar

Lois Wickstrom (Author) | Francie Mion (Illustrator)

Loretta finds a caterpillar egg on a milkweed plant. She breaks off the leaf and brings it home. Mom won’t let Loretta keep it in the house, so she tapes the leaf back on the plant, and watches over the egg. It hatches. It eats the leaf, and more leaves. As the caterpillar grows and molts, Loretta shoos away a bird that wants to eat it. Then a wasp, and even a ladybug. The caterpillar survives. When it forms a chrysalis, a lizard bites it. It heals and eventually a monarch butterfly emerges. In a mixture of pride and sadness, Loretta watches her friend fly away. Plus information on migration, obtaining milkweed seeds for your area, and how to recognize male and female monarch butterflies.


Lovely artwork, as usual, thanks to the skills of Francie Mion. The title is nice and large too, though the text treatment is perhaps a little lackluster. It’s bold, and clearly legible even at thumbnail size though, and that’s a plus.


Wonderful, as usual. I’ve reviewed a number of Lois Wickstrom’s books in this series, and the artwork is always delightful. There’s so much to see on each page. The swarms of butterflies in particular are gorgeous. Mion beautifully captured the growing cycle of the little caterpillar, as well as the environment around it.


Once again, Lois Wickstrom has produced a book that is both enjoyable and very educational. In simple language and through an enjoyable story, the author teaches about the growth and life cycle of a monarch butterfly. She organically inserts interesting detail without getting wordy or boring, so by the time the story is through, the reader has learned a considerable amount about the topic. I highly recommend this whole series.


About the Author

“Every morning and evening, my husband and I walk our dogs and pick up trash around the neighborhood. We live many miles away from our children and grand children, so we don’t see them very often. We have an organic garden, and a make-shift greenhouse in the basement for starting seeds. We live in the inner city, so there’s no place to park a car. We ride our bikes everywhere that’s practical and we belong to a car co-op. When we want a car, we rent it by the hour. We only need a car about once a month.
At the moment, I’m taking a screen-writing class which I’m loving. I also belong to Toastmasters to improve my oral storytelling skills.”

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