Bugs, of all kinds, were considered to be “born of mud” and to be “beasts of the devil.” Why would anyone, let alone a girl, want to study and observe them?
One of the first naturalists to observe live insects directly, Maria Sibylla Merian was also one of the first to document the metamorphosis of the butterfly. In this visual nonfiction biography, richly illustrated throughout with full-color original paintings by Merian herself, the Newbery Honor–winning author Joyce Sidman paints her own picture of one of the first female entomologists and a woman who flouted convention in the pursuit of knowledge and her passion for insects.
★ "A fantastic array of illustrations embellish the text with photos of butterflies, caterpillars, and chrysalises, and lovely images of Maria’s artwork and that of her fathers. Meanwhile, exceptional captions identify and establish each illustration’s relevance to Maria’s life. A vibrant, wonderfully rounded biography on a pioneering and prodigiously talented woman." — Booklist, starred review
★ "An exceptionally crafted visual biography of a pioneering entomologist and naturalist who lived a life devoted to discovery." — Kirkus, starred review
“A marvel of a book, just like the subject, Maria Merian. Reading Sidman’s fascinating and beautiful account of Merian’s life, we are witness to the miracle of a woman becoming an artist and a scientist in the 17th century. Just as a caterpillar emerges into the world out of its chrysalis, this book brings Merian out of the darkness and into the light.”— Deborah Heiligman, author of Vincent and Theo and Charles and Emma, a National Book Award finalist
★"An excellent choice for young artists, budding scientists, fledgling entomologists, and fans of biography."--School Library Journal, STARRED review
★"Excellent reproductions of the gorgeous botanical prints allow readers to appreciate their accurate scientific detail and artistry."--Horn Book, STARRED review