If you have ever ventured out to Ellwood to admire the thousands of butterflies that make their home there each winter, you might wonder how long the beautiful bugs have been coming, or why they come back every year, or maybe even what the other animals on the beach think of them. In her new book, Butterfly Beach, Polly Caldwell Bookwalter manages to answer all of these questions while still educating young Santa Barbarans about the delicate ecosystem they live within. And if that’s not enough for you, just enjoy the beautiful artwork the story comes with. Bookwalter will be signing copies of Butterfly Beach on Saturday, February 23, at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s Museum Store (1130 State St.) from noon to 3 p.m. Call 963-4364 for details.
1) Conservation Information: While the tale is nicely wrapped into a child’s-size serving, the message Butterfly Beach delivers is much bigger. Bookwalter creates a children’s book that teaches tykes the importance of environmental conservation so that future generations will be able to enjoy the same beauty afforded to this one. And by introducing this lesson through story time, the book creates a great way to begin teaching children to love nature and show them what they can do to keep it around for years to come.
2) Flights of Fancy: Because you’ve always wondered just what those butterflies like about Santa Barbara, or were just curious about them. Butterfly Beach fills the reader in on the butterflies’ migratory habits and, more importantly, points out that the great weather and beach location make Santa Barbara prime real estate for the insect community, too.
3) Artistic Endeavors: Bookwalter goes to town with the book’s illustrations, decking out each page in mosaic-style pictures that capture the beauty of the butterfly and Santa Barbara while still retaining a sense of imagination that appeals to the child inside all of us.