Published by Lee and Low Books
Summary: The isolation of the islands that make up Hawai’i means that they are home to plant and animal species that exist nowhere else on Earth. One of these is the Kamehameha butterfly, named for the king who united all of the islands. In 2009, a group of fifth grade students led a successful campaign to make this butterfly the state insect, hoping to bring attention to the endangered butterfly. Soon scientists from the state and the University of Hawai’i started working together to help save the Kamehameha. Citizen scientists helped collect data and photos. Since then, thousands of butterflies have been raised in captivity and released all around Hawai’i. Includes an afterword with a map and many photos; an illustrator’s note; and a list of sources. 48 pages; grades 2-5.
Pros: Another excellent nonfiction book by the Sibert Medal winning team of Susan Roth and Cindy Trumbore. Kids will be inspired by the way elementary students made a real difference in helping with an environmental issue. The collage illustrations enhance the text, which includes information on the formation of the Hawaiian islands, the butterfly’s life cycle, King Kamehameha, and how the scientists carried out their project.
Cons: Even with the pronunciation guides, I struggle with how to say some of the Hawaiian words.