The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian's Art Changed Science
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HMH Books 2018
Accelerated Reader:
IL: MG - BL: 7.7 - AR Pts: 2
Lexile measure:
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Robert F. Sibert Medal winner Bugs, of all kinds, were considered to be "born of mud" and to be "beasts of the devil." Why would anyone, let alone a girl, want to study and observe them? One of the first naturalists to observe live insects directly, Maria Sibylla Merian was also one of the first to document the metamorphosis of the butterfly. In this visual nonfiction biography, richly illustrated throughout with full-color original paintings by Merian herself, the Newbery Honor–winning author Joyce Sidman paints her own picture of one of the first female entomologists and a woman who flouted convention in the pursuit of knowledge and her passion for insects.Booklist Editor's ChoiceChicago Public Library Best of 2018Kirkus Best book of 2018 2018 Bulletin Blue Ribbon BookJunior Library Guild SelectionNew York Public Library Top 10 Best Books of 2018

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Format:
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Street Date:
02/20/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781328830289
ASIN:
B073XCN9PT
Accelerated Reader:
MG
Level 7.7, 2 Points
Lexile measure:
1110
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Date Added:
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Date Updated:
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The Girl Who Drew Butterflies
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        Joyce Sidman is today's foremost nature poet for children. Accolades for her books include two Caldecott Honors, a Lee Bennett Hopkins Award, the Claudia Lews Award, and many stars and Best of lists. For her body of work, she won NCTE's Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. She lives in Wayzata, Minnesota. www.joycesidman.com

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The Girl Who Drew Butterflies
fullDescription

Robert F. Sibert Medal winner
Bugs, of all kinds, were considered to be "born of mud" and to be "beasts of the devil." Why would anyone, let alone a girl, want to study and observe them?
One of the first naturalists to observe live insects directly, Maria Sibylla Merian was also one of the first to document the metamorphosis of the butterfly. In this visual nonfiction biography, richly illustrated throughout with full-color original paintings by Merian herself, the Newbery Honor–winning author Joyce Sidman paints her own picture of one of the first female entomologists and a woman who flouted convention in the pursuit of knowledge and her passion for insects.
Booklist Editor's Choice
Chicago Public Library Best of 2018
Kirkus Best book of 2018
2018 Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book

Junior Library Guild Selection
New York Public Library Top 10 Best Books of 2018

gradeLevels
      • value: Grade 6
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from November 20, 2017
        Spreads splashed with vibrant, eye-catching paintings of insects and flowers help tell the story of 17th-century German trailblazer Maria Merian. Eschewing the mores of her time, she became a leading botanical artist, naturalist, and (possibly) the world’s first ecologist, as she depicted insects—in all their developmental stages—alongside their botanical food sources and helped establish the idea that butterflies and moths come from caterpillars. Sidman (Round) punctuates a well-researched, engaging narrative (“She had the curiosity of a true scientist, the patience it took to raise insects, and the superb artistic skill necessary to share her observations”) with excerpts from Merian’s journals to bring the courageous artist’s own voice into the mix. Eclectic sidebars contextualize the biography (one discusses witch hunts of the era), along with archival images, maps, and full-color photographs. Stages of butterfly metamorphosis (accompanied by a trademark Sidman nature poem) serve as fitting chapter headings and mirror the stages of Merian’s life; a chapter titled “Flight” focuses on her groundbreaking research trip to Surinam. An author’s note, timeline, bibliography, and index conclude this beautifully designed and expansive portrait of a gifted boundary breaker. Ages 10–12.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        November 15, 2017
        The remarkable contributions of Maria Sibylla Merian, a 17th-century self-taught artist and the first person to document the metamorphosis of the butterfly, are not as well-known as those of John James Audubon, Charles Darwin, and Carl Linnaeus, but her discoveries preceded and influenced those later naturalists.At a time when the most learned adhered to the Aristotelian theory of "spontaneous generation," that insects came from "dew, dung, dead animals, or mud" and were "beasts of the Devil," Merian was convinced otherwise. Captivated by the mysterious lives of insects, she wanted to know where they came from. Flouting the conventions of the time to pursue her passion for insects made Merian's life difficult, but she never allowed adversity to interfere with her dogged pursuit of knowledge. Travelers' stories inspired her to take an arduous journey to the Dutch colony of Surinam to observe, document, and collect exotic species. With techniques learned from her stepfather, Merian became an accomplished artist, rendering in beautiful, extraordinary detail the intricacies of caterpillars, flies, moths, butterflies, and other insects. She recorded her keen observations in a research journal and published three books about her discoveries. This fascinating account of Merian's life and work is beautifully designed and embellished with both Sidman's photographs of what Merian studied and images of her artwork. Informative captions identify and connect each image's relevance to Merian's life and work.An exceptionally crafted visual biography of a pioneering entomologist and naturalist who lived a life devoted to discovery. (glossary, timeline, source notes, bibliography, further reading) (Biography. 9-12)

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: School Library Journal
      • content:

        December 1, 2017

        Gr 5-8-Under the tutelage of her stepfather, artist Jacob Marrel, young teen Maria Sibylla Merian developed her artistic talent and found ways to combine it with her interest and careful observation of caterpillars, moths, and butterflies. In Germany, the Netherlands, and Suriname, from about 1660 to 1710, Merian (some paintings use her married name of Graff) moved from more traditional "lady artist" subjects such as flowers, to depicting the life cycles and habitats of caterpillars, moths, butterflies, spiders, insects, and the natural struggle for survival. At a time when many believed in the spontaneous generation of flying insects, Merian's meticulous observations allowed her to document that eggs became caterpillars which then transformed into butterflies or moths. Sidman starts each chapter with a verse, otherwise telling the story through narrative with ample photographs, etchings, maps, paintings, and reproductions of Merian's botanical art throughout. In pages of boxed text, readers learn a bit about topics that influenced Merian's life, such as printing processes, religion in the 1600s, and slavery in Suriname. The butterfly life cycle, from egg to maturity, was an endless source of inspiration, and is at the center of many of her paintings. The thorough back matter will aid in classroom use. VERDICT An excellent choice for young artists, budding scientists, fledgling entomologists, and fans of biography.-Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley Sch., Fort Worth, TX

        Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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shortDescription

Robert F. Sibert Medal winner
Bugs, of all kinds, were considered to be "born of mud" and to be "beasts of the devil." Why would anyone, let alone a girl, want to study and observe them?
One of the first naturalists to observe live insects directly, Maria Sibylla Merian was also one of the first to document the metamorphosis of the butterfly. In this visual nonfiction biography, richly illustrated throughout with full-color original paintings by Merian herself, the Newbery Honor–winning author Joyce Sidman paints her own picture of one of the first female entomologists and a woman who flouted convention in the pursuit of knowledge and her passion for insects.
Booklist Editor's Choice
Chicago Public Library Best of 2018
Kirkus Best book of 2018
2018 Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book

Junior Library Guild Selection
New York Public Library Top 10 Best Books of 2018

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      • value: Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal
subtitle
How Maria Merian's Art Changed Science
publisher
HMH Books