Deborah Hopkinson

Award Winning Author of Fiction & Nonfiction for Children & Teens

Butterflies Belong Here

A Story of One Idea, Thirty Kids, and a World of Butterflies

Butterflies Belong Here

What is this book about?

But­ter­flies Belong Here is a pow­er­ful sto­ry of every­day activism and hope. In this mov­ing sto­ry of com­mu­ni­ty con­ser­va­tion, a recent­ly immi­grat­ed girl finds a home in a new place and a way to help oth­er small trav­el­ers. This book is about the real change chil­dren can make in con­ser­va­tion and advocacy—in this case, focus­ing on beau­ti­ful monarch butterflies.

I know what to look for: large black-and-orange wings with a bor­der of small white specks, flit­ting from flower to flower, sip­ping nec­tar. But though I looked hard, I could­n’t find even one. I won­dered if monarch but­ter­flies belonged here. I won­dered if I did, too.

But­ter­flies Belong Here is proof that even the small­est of us are capa­ble of amaz­ing transformations.


“The premise, of an immi­grant girl who relates both to an endan­gered but­ter­fly­’s jour­ney to its new home and to a shy cater­pil­lar’s shed­ding of its skin, is smart. After learn­ing Eng­lish via books about but­ter­flies, our nar­ra­tor ini­ti­ates the build­ing of a monarch way sta­tion. … So’s gor­geous illus­tra­tions pit bold­ly defined mon­archs against a feath­ery water­col­or world.” (The New York Times)

“[T]houghtful … [C]olorful … This beau­ti­ful pic­ture book unites fic­tion with facts while qui­et­ly pro­mot­ing envi­ron­men­tal activism.” (Book­list, starred review)

“Fol­low­ing an ear­li­er, sim­i­lar­ly struc­tured col­lab­o­ra­tion by this team (Fol­low the Moon Home) about a child gain­ing self-assur­ance while work­ing on an envi­ron­men­tal project, Hop­kin­son and So intro­duce a brown-skinned girl whose con­fi­dence grows as she orga­nizes her class to start a milk­weed gar­den for migrat­ing mon­archs. … So’s del­i­cate mixed-media draw­ings cap­ture the girl’s class­mates and por­trays the pro­tag­o­nist as she jour­neys from lone­ly new­com­er to poised leader.” (Pub­lish­ers Week­ly)

Butterflies Belong Here

author, Deb­o­rah Hop­kin­son
illus­tra­tor, Mei­lo So
Chron­i­cle Books
ages 5 and up, 2020
ISBN 978–1452176802

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