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Butterfly    by Thomas Marent order for
by Thomas Marent
Order:  USA  Can
DK Publishing, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

'A butterfly's development from tiny egg, through larval "eating machine" and almost featureless pupa, to its final, spectacular metamorphosis into a colorful, winged adult is one of nature's most remarkable processes. Butterfly visually documents and illustrates each stage of the life cycles of butterflies and moths, in an incredibly detailed, close-up view of their world.'

Your reviewer has borrowed these words from the flyleaf of Butterfly, a lovely new coffee table book on the life and times of butterflies. It could not have been said better. This glorious volume catalogs a life's work. The more than five hundred photos are beyond description.

Author and photographer Thomas Marent calls butterflies flying flowers - an apt discription. How beautiful are the butterflies captured by his camera and reproduced in the pages of Butterfly. Marent has flown to remote parts of the world to photograph butterflies and moths in their natural habitat and everyday lives from the chrysalis to courtship, reproduction and defense. This book presents only a small portion of the 165,000 species in the world.

Opening the first page brings wonder and delight at these magnificent tiny creatures with glowing colors on show from the instant they first open their wings. Someone interested in nature cannot help but be fascinated by the glories of these lovely things and by how they come into being. Even those uninterested in nature will be caught by the glowing combinations of colors that comprise a butterfly.

Thomas Marent's Butterfly is a magnificent volume to be pored over time and time again, always finding something new to catch the eye. It's a book for the student as well as for the enthusiast.

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