The TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour is your opportunity to learn from and build personal connections with extraordinary book creators and their brand-new titles. Included in all Virtual Book Tour posts are original interviews with authors and illustrators, lesson plans, an activity designed for young people, and much more!

Welcome, Deborah Hopkinson!

Deborah Hopkinson on Butterflies Belong Here: A Story of One Idea, Thirty Kids, and a World of Butterflies

In this post, we feature Deborah Hopkinson, the author of many acclaimed novels, informational titles, and picture books, including Follow the Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles, which was named a Cook Prize Honor Book, among other awards. You can hear her speak about the inspiration for her new picture book Butterflies Belong Here: A Story of One Idea, Thirty Kids, and a World of Butterflies, and try her fun “invitation to imagine” activity. You’ll also find other resources to explore. Thanks for joining us, and let us know what you think in the comments below!


Author Deborah Hopkinson and the cover of her book Butterflies Belong Here: A Story of One Idea, Thirty Kids, and a World of Butterflies.

Butterflies Belong Here: A Story of One Idea, Thirty Kids, and a World of Butterflies

  • Written by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by Meilo So
  • Published by Chronicle Books
  • Release date: August 4, 2020

In this picture book from the creators of Follow the Moon Home: A Tale of Once Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles, a young immigrant finds a feeling of belonging after she grows curious about monarch butterflies. With the help of librarians, she researches, learns, and encourages her class to create a milkweed garden for the beautiful migrating creatures. Monarch facts and conservation messages are woven into this story about a child who makes a difference in her community and grows in confidence along the way.

Interior image from Butterflies Belong Here: A Story of One Idea, Thirty Kids, and a World of Butterflies, written by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by Meilo So, depicting a child who is new to the U.S. reading a book about monarch butterflies.
Interior image from Butterflies Belong Here: A Story of One Idea, Thirty Kids, and a World of Butterflies, written by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by Meilo So, depicting a child confidently presenting a report about monarch butterflies to her class.

Explore Butterflies Belong Here: A Story of One Idea, Thirty Kids, and a World of Butterflies

Listen to Deborah Hopkinson talking with TeachingBooks about creating Butterflies Belong Here: A Story of One Idea, Thirty Kids, and a World of Butterflies. You can click the player below or experience the recording on TeachingBooks, where you can read along as you listen, and also translate the text to another language.


Invitation to Imagine

TeachingBooks asks each author or illustrator on our Virtual Book Tour to share a writing prompt, a drawing exercise, or just an interesting question to spark curiosity and creativity. Enjoy the following activity contributed by Deborah Hopkinson.

Imagination Activity with Deborah Hopkinson

Monarch butterflies make a long and amazing journey to their wintering forests in Mexico. But even short trips can be exciting if we pay attention to our surroundings. For this activity, make a picture story about someplace you go, whether it’s riding the bus to school, or taking a walk to the park or to a friend’s house. Notice and observe along the way. What trees and plants do you see? Are there flowers blooming, are the branches bare? What people do you meet or pass? Do you hear a bird, a train, or a plane overhead? Is it cloudy or sunny? Next give your story a beginning, a middle, and an end. Then, keep your picture story and repeat the activity in a few months. What’s different and what’s the same?


Finish This Sentence . . . with Deborah Hopkinson

As part of our Virtual Book Tour, TeachingBooks asks authors and illustrators to complete short sentence prompts. Enjoy Deborah Hopkinson’s response.

“While working on this latest project, I was surprised to discover…”

While working on this latest project, I was surprised to discover how easy it was to grow milkweed in my own garden. After I found out the right kinds for where I live, I ordered some seeds and started growing. I haven’t seen any monarch butterflies yet, though.

I hope my book encourages kids to…”

I hope Butterflies Belong Here encourages kids to grow things. Maybe it’s a house plant in a window, or a small patch of flowers or vegetables. Beans and snap peas are easy to grow from just one packet of seeds. If you don’t have a yard, try growing potatoes inside. Start with a sprouted potato, cut into chunks. Put the chunks sprout side up in at least four inches of dirt, with another four inches on top. Make sure they’re always covered with soil. Yum!  


Thank you!

To wrap up this Virtual Book Tour, we thank Deborah Hopkinson for signing a book for all of us!

An image of the title page of the picture book Butterflies Belong Here, signed by the author, Deborah Hopkinson with the message: "Dear Reader, You belong . . . just like the butterflies!"

More Connections to Deborah Hopkinson and Butterflies Belong Here: A Story of One Idea, Thirty Kids, and a World of Butterflies


Explore all of the titles featured in the TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour: one link with author interviews, lesson plans, activities, and more!

Text and images are courtesy of Deborah Hopkinson and Chronicle Books and may not be used without expressed written consent.

, , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply