Friday, September 21, 2012

Review - Bye, Bye, Butterflies!

Bye, Bye, Butterflies!
by Andrew Larsen
illustrated by Jacqueline Hudon-Verrelli
Date: 2012
Publisher: Fitzhenry & Whiteside
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: hardcover
Source: borrowed

One day on a walk with his dad Charlie sees some boys and girls on the rooftop of the school saying goodbye as they release butterflies up into the sky. Charlie is amazed by all the butterflies flying around and wishes he could do something like that too. And when Charlie starts school next year he becomes a “butterfly scientist” as well and helps his teacher and classmates care for some teeny tiny caterpillars as they grow into butterflies and are released by Charlie and his class. “Bye Bye Butterflies!”

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I have a memory of my kindergarten classroom and the glass tank that held a number of monarch butterfly cocoons.  I don't remember if we ever actually released the hatched butterflies, but I do remember watching those inconspicuous-looking cocoons with anticipation.  Perhaps this isn't such an uncommon classroom activity, because it's featured in this cute little picture book.

The story is simple and straightforward.  The illustrations are really what make the book work, though.  The mixed-media look and the distinctive style of the human characters make the story even more memorable.  (See the artist's website HERE.)

This would be a great book for preschoolers or kindergartners.  There is a small section at the back with some scientific information about butterflies that almost seems a bit beyond the target audience.  Nevertheless, kids can always grow into the information... especially if Bye, Bye, Butterflies! turns out to be one of their favourite books.

Premise: 5/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 5/5
Originality: 4/5
Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall: 4.6 out of 5

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