Saturday, October 8, 2011
Kid Konnection: Butterfly Tree
Kid Konnection is a Booking Mama's weekend feature dedicated to all things children's books.
Butterfly Tree by Sandra Markle, Illustrated by Leslie Wu
When you're making a memory, you want it to last as long as possible.
One September day, while Jilly is on the shores of Lake Erie throwing a stick for her dog, Fudge, she notices an orange cloud coming closer to the beach. At first, she worries that it's smoke from a fire or volcanic fallout or even an alien spacecraft. When she tells her mom about it, though, the two hurry off into the woods in search of the mysterious orange cloud. Just when Jilly is ready to turn back, the two discover an ordinary tree covered in orange leaves, but when Fudge races through chasing a squirrel, the tree suddenly bursts into a magical flurry of monarch butterflies.
Markle's verse vividly renders a memory of the migrating butterflies drawn from her own childhood. Her detailed descriptions capture the atmosphere of the woods and the magic of discovering something for the first time. Wu's illustrations are perfectly suited to the story. Her beautiful impressionistic paintings reveal the perfect cast of the light and the motion of a hundred fluttering butterflies but with soft edges that gives the sense of a rare, beautiful moment being viewed throught the lens of memory.
Young readers will be taken in by the bright colors and the suspense in the search. Older readers might well be reminded of the wonder and the opportunities for discovery that nature offered us when we were children and still today if we slow down long enough to see.
(Thanks to Peachtree Publishers for sending me a copy!)