Arctic butterflies get the spotlight in new children’s book

A new book geared at children explores the life of butterflies in the Arctic. (Courtesy Inhabit Media)
When most people think of Arctic nature, they usually think about ice and snow, seals and polar bears. But a new children’s book is throwing the spotlight on a lesser known part of the Arctic eco-system, namely, butterflies.

A Children’s Guide to Arctic Butterflies was written by Mia Pelletier, an ecologist who’s travelled extensively in the Canadian Arctic, and was illustrated by Danny Christopher, who was once an instructor at Nunavut Arctic College in Canada’s eastern Arctic.

The cover of the new book on Arctic butterflies. (Courtesy Inhabit Media)

The book, published in July, describes that while there are 20,000 species of butterflies in the world, only several dozen species are found in the Canadian Arctic.

It also describes how butterflies survive in the Far North and then spotlights 12 different kinds of butterflies found in the Canadian Arctic along with facts about how they live and how they can be identified.

The unique subject is part of what appealed to the book’s publisher.

“When arctic wildlife is represented or discussed, in our experience, bugs and insects are often ignored or overlooked,” Inhabit media, the company that published the book, told Eye on the Arctic.

Giving children a more all-encompassing idea of the variety of arctic fauna that exists is in keeping with our goal of accurately representing the North.”

A Children’s Guide to Arctic Butterflies is the third book the publisher has done with Pelletier.

Previous books include Avati: Discovering Arctic Ecology and A Children’s Guide to Arctic Birds.

Inhabit Media is an Inuit-owned publisher based in Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut and was founded to promote and preserve the territory’s stories.  

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Non-fiction book about inuk residential school survivor from Atlantic Canada attracts readers in Poland, CBC News

Finland: Climate change brings new butterfly species to Finland, Yle News

Greenland: “Enough of this postcolonial sh#%” – An interview with Greenlandic author Niviaq Korneliussen, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: O Canada! … A Norwegian writer takes on our country’s features & foibles, Eye on the Arctic

Sweden: Walt Disney Animation Studios to release Saami-language version of “Frozen 2”, Eye on the Arctic

United States: Art exhibit in Alaska connects bird research to backyards, Alaska Public Media Network

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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