The Butterfly Detective

Putney and the Magic eyePad–Book 3

Children - Grade 4th-6th
334 Pages
Reviewed on 09/22/2020
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Author Biography

Marsha Tufft loves her family, dogs, butterflies, swimming, the ocean, teaching her dogs cool tricks, sewing, quilting, painting, and solving problems by coming up with her own designs. She’s a retired engineer, with degrees in mechanical (BSME), aerospace (MSAsE), and materials engineering (PhD), and enjoys developing experiments targeting girls to give them fun experiences with science, engineering, and math.

Marsha also has a passion for butterflies, and has raised monarchs, black swallowtails, and zebra swallowtails from caterpillars, capturing the magical moments of metamorphosis on camera. While working on her Ph.D., she also studied aerodynamics of flapping insect flight, and has a cool experiment to show the flow field around a butterfly’s clap and fling take-off.

Because math is so important to success in STEM fields–science, technology, engineering, and math–Marsha has fun experiments that show the magic and power of math.

Marsha blogs about her projects, designs, and STEM experiments at

    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

The Butterfly Detective by MK Tufft is the third book in the Putney and the Magic eyePad series and it reads well as a standalone story for children. In this story, the author introduces readers to Putney, who owns a magic eyePad and a magical hi-tech hummingbird robot. She needs to learn the butterfly stroke quickly for an upcoming swim meet and she relies so much on her high-tech tools. But she is worried about Sue, her nemesis. There is also the snoopy professor from MIT who might just discover her secrets — and that won’t be good for her. There is so much that Putney is looking forward to when it comes to the upcoming swim meet. Facing her former best friend makes her jittery, plus she wants to rekindle their friendship. Can she get everything fixed on time?

I loved the expansive nature of the protagonist, her inquisitive mind, and her scientific and artistic inclinations. The Butterfly Detective will encourage young readers to be solution-oriented, to look for answers, and to care about their friends. Putney is involved in several activities, including building bedrooms, protecting monarch butterflies, and working on her butterfly stroke for the upcoming swim meet. Moving to a new school and dealing with an elderly relative are amongst the elements that help flesh out the plot and deepen character. Putney's world is real and it is interesting how Putney develops as she faces every challenge in life. This is a novel about growing up, handling challenging situations, making friends, and dealing with change. The Butterfly Detective by MK Tufft is a fun read for children and will also give adults insights into what goes on in the minds of youngsters. Beautifully illustrated and written in a style that is accessible.