School’s out and you can’t go anywhere so how about a new hobby? How about raising Monarch butterflies?

Toronto author Carol Pasternak‘s How to Raise Monarch Butterflies, A Step-by-Step Guide for Kids teaches children how to find Monarch butterfly eggs and keep them alive through all their stages before releasing the butterfly back into the world.

I confess I am not completely comfortable about this idea. My fear is kids won’t treat it seriously and there will be countless dead caterpillars in plastic containers in children’s bedrooms across the country. My only hope is that parents will be responsible and ensure their children are taking care of these creatures, whose numbers are dwindling already thanks to human action.

So going forward, I am going to assume children are responsible and so are their parents.

And if that is the case, raising Monarch butterflies seems relatively easy and I would suspect pretty amazing to watch and experience.

The book has a lot of information and fantastic pictures. I know a fair amount about the Monarch butterfly, having a soft spot for these amazing creatures, but learned a ton more thanks to this book, including how to tell a male and female chrysalis and the sex of the butterfly itself; that even with six eyes, the caterpillar still has bad vision; and adult Monarch butterflies are deaf. Who knew!

Pasternak provides lots of information on each stage of the Monarch’s life, from egg to butterfly, as well as information about releasing the butterfly back into the wild, its natural predators and its amazing migration.

Pasternak’s love of the Monarch butterfly is evident while reading this book. Her enthusiasm for all things Monarch butterfly and her desire for everyone to experience the miracle of this creature leaps off the page.

In Canada, June is Monarch egg time. Happy Monarch raising.

How to Raise Monarch Butterflies, A Step-by-Step Guide for Kids is $9.95 and is published by A Firefly Book.