Butterfly Colors and Counting

Butterfly Colors and Counting

  • 595

By: Jerry Pallotta / Illustrated by: Shennen Bersani

One red butterfly, two blue... Ten beautiful butterflies in all!

In this board book by Jerry Pallotta, award-winning author of several alphabet and counting books for young children, readers will learn how to count to ten while learning the colors of the rainbow—plus some fun patterns as a bonus. Shennen Bersani’s realistic and colorful art depicts ten real butterfly species, both common and rare, from around the world.

Butterfly Colors and Counting is a perfect companion to Pallotta’s three previous board books, The Icky Bug Counting Board Book, The Icky Bug Alphabet Board Book, and The Ocean Alphabet Board Book. Little hands will enjoy browsing this book on their own—and learning colors and numbers along the way.

Look Inside the Book:

Author & Illustrator Bios:

Jerry Pallotta, author

Jerry Pallotta is an award-winning author of children’s alphabet books and imaginative fiction, including The Icky Bug Alphabet Book, The Construction Alphabet Book, and Dory Story. Jerry lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

Read more about Jerry.

Shennen Bersani, illustrator

Shennen Bersani attended the Art Institute of Boston and has illustrated several books for children, including Ocean Counting: Odd Numbers and Icky Bug Shapes. Shennen lives near Boston.

Read more about Shennen.

Awards & Honors:

AAAS's Science Books & Films Best List

Editorial Reviews:

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

A lovely and simple concept book covering counting and colors for the youngest butterfly spotters.

From one red Tachyris zarinda to 10 pink-tipped clearwinged satyrs, each full-page painting spotlights a different butterfly variety. The text simply labels the color and number of the butterflies using a large, serif typeface. In Bersani’s fine-brushed, detailed art some butterflies are shown in the context of their habitat, such as the eight brown Orion butterflies alighting on yellow stalks of wheat, but most of the butterflies rest on pleasingly mottled backgrounds painted in soft hues. The butterfly names, in an inconsistent mix of scientific and common appellations, are included on the back cover in small print. While a little more information on each insect would have been a nice addition for adults and older children, they can seek out age-appropriate books if piqued.

Glowing art and simple concept presentation—just right for the target audience—may make counters and butterfly enthusiasts out of readers.

Publishers Weekly

Given the diverse coloration of butterflies, they're a natural way to introduce to the concept of color, which is covered in this board book that also counts from one to 10. Examples include three cloudless sulphur butterflies in bright yellow-green and 10 pink-tipped clearwing satyrs (the butterflies are ID'd on the back cover). Text is minimal (each number appears as a word and numeral, along with the name of each color), and Bersani offers precise portraits of each insect set against moody backdrops.

Twenty by Jenny

Toddlers count from one red butterfly (a Tachyris Zarinda), which dominates an entire page, to 10 pink-tipped clearwing satyr butterflies fluttering in a tropical setting in this aesthetically pleasing board book.

Each page focuses on a color familiar to young learners, alongside the number of butterflies on the page printed as both a word and a s a numeral. The back cover identifies each of the butterfly varieties. The counting may be simple, but the butterflies are exotic (e.g. the male great Mormon, for "black"; amethyst hairstreak, for "purple"; Orion, for "brown"). Realistic watercolor renderings make the butterflies look as if they will float from the pages. Toddlers will welcome the chance to hone their colors and numbers; older siblings may well be inspired to learn more about these unusual butterflies.


The text of this beautiful book is simple—just the numeral, word for the number and color are listed. These three words are set against the background next to an illustration of butterflies of the corresponding amount and hue. All the butterflies under one number are the same species; these are listed on theback cover. Great as a simple counting and color concept book an dfun for budding butterfly fans.

Spirituality & Practice

There are some 18,000 species known as butterflies. They are beautiful, delicate, and mysterious creatures with countless stories about them. In various times and places, butterflies have been seen as bearers of true love, incarnations of the souls of children, initiators of spring, and a mixture of air and angels.

Jerry Pallotta and illustrator Shennen Bersani are enchanted with butterflies and in this board book for children up to 3 years of age, they present 10 lovely ones that stir the senses with their beauty. The intent is: "Count the butterflies from one to ten. Learn their colors, then count again!"


Download the Cover


Board book
ISBN: 978-1-57091-899-5

Ages: 0-3
Page count: 10
7 x 5 9/16

If you like this book, you’ll enjoy these:
Animal Colors
The Icky Bug Counting Board Book