Lessons about Nature and Conservation through the Eyes of a Young Adventurer

Columbia, SC— Young Palmetto Books has released its newest title by Charlotte Caldwell, Kirby’s Journal: Backyard Butterfly Magic. Caldwell earned her master’s degree in environmental studies from Antioch University New England.

On an eventful summer spent in Charleston, South Carolina, eleven-year-old Kirby, Grandma, and Grandpa plant a butterfly garden, and Kirby documents the wondrous adventures in learning that follow. Their observations, excitement, and curiosity are vividly captured through Kirby’s journal and newly acquired hobby of photography as together they discover an abundance of life just outside their own backdoor.

Including more than one hundred color photographs and a helpful glossary, Kirby’s Journal inspires children of all ages to go outdoors, to watch and listen inquisitively, and to share in the magic of nature. With a playful attitude and a love of learning new things,
Kirby discovers a whole new world of caterpillars, butterflies, spiders, snakes, squirrels, and more—as well as the importance of identification, classification, and conservation in learning about flora, fauna, and their natural habitats.

Kirby’s Journal is the latest offering from Young Palmetto Books, an educational children’s and young adult book series publishing in partnership between the University of South Carolina Press and the South Carolina Center for Children’s Books and Literacy, a unit of the USC School of Library and Information Science. www.youngpalmettobooks.com

Praise for Kirby’s Journal

“To a child, nearby nature can be a universe. Through Kirby’s Journal, Charlotte Caldwell provides children with a portal into their own backyard galaxy.”—Richard Louv, journalist and author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

Kirby’s Journal is an exciting, personable introduction to the study of butterflies and entomology. With digital cameras and online information, it is easier than ever for children to become backyard scientists. This book is a good way to get them started.”—Dwight Williams, entomologist and director, Cyprus Gardens

Kirby’s Journal blew me away with its seamless combination of pertinent information on butterfly gardening, life cycles, and habitats mixed with other tidbits about insects and backyard wildlife in an interesting, well-rounded story of one child’s summer. The result is a wonderful guidebook, resource, and story.”—Amanda Segura, horticulturalist and garden education coordinator, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden

“The life cycle of butterflies is presented in detail through this attractive and readable fictitious journal. Watching butterflies in the backyard, Kirby learns about gardening, photography, and scientific observation. The photographs will attract browsers, especially images depicting the fascinating, minute-by-minute views of a monarch butterfly cracking its way out of its chrysalis. Kirby is a personable and likable character whose diary will appeal to kids. VERDICT: An entertaining and enlightening addition.”—School Library Journal

“Eleven-year-old Kirby records close observations of butterflies made in [Kirby’s] grandparents’ Charleston, South Carolina, backyard during a summer vacation that is as good as a safari. The grandparents provide background, beginning with body parts and going on through classification, identification, the food web, and survival strategies. Kirby makes notes on oversized journal pages and adds color photographs. This pseudo-journal makes a clever invitation to a possible lifetime passion.”—Kirkus Reviews

Author and photographer of Visions and Voices: Montana’s One-Room
Schoolhouses, The Cow’s Boy: The Making of a Real Cowboy, and The Cow’s Girl: The
Making of a Real Cowgirl, Charlotte Caldwell has been a member of the North
American Butterfly Association, the Xerces Society, the Society of Children’s
Book Writers and Illustrators, and the North American Nature Photographers
Association. Ten photographs from Kirby’s Journal were chosen through a jury of
professional photographers for presentation at the 2010 North American Nature
Photographer’s Annual Summit Show. She holds master’s degrees in
environmental studies from Antioch University New England and in special
education from the University of Hartford. Caldwell divides her time between
Charleston and her family’s ranch in Clyde Park, Montana.

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