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A World of Butterflies

A World of Butterflies
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Text by Brian Cassie - Photographs by Kjell Sandved
Hardcover; 432 pages; Bulfinch Publishing (2004)

The patterns and colors of butterfly wings can be as complex and brilliant as those of fine tapestries, but they're often hard to appreciate as the little insects flutter from flower to flower. In this gorgeous little nature album (it's 3.5" x 6"), Sandved gets butterflies to hold still by capturing them in close-up photographs, and the secrets that he reveals can be breathtaking.

There are butterflies, like the Adonis Blue and the Red Glider, whose deep hues resemble jewels, and others, like the Callicore Hydaspes, whose boldly patterned wings seem like studies in composition. Some butterflies, like the Ninety-Eight butterfly, even seem to flaunt whimsical designs of numbers, faces or hearts.

The background text by Cassie is minimal: just enough to tell readers about butterfly anatomy, reproduction, migration, feeding and mimicry. Cassie also accompanies each image with a concise summary of that butterfly's habitat, range and habits.

All in all, this is a lovely book - small enough to take on a butterfly-watching expedition, but pretty enough to display on a coffee table. 

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