by Kelly Harrison Spining
Illustrated by Abby Rocha
ages 4 to 8
Three trees sat atop the verdure of a hillside: two were large and grand, while the other was tiny and weak. As the soft winds of springtime blew one day, a lovely butterfly flew past the trees in search of a new place to call home. What happened next would forge a lifelong bond between two unexpected creatures. Inspired by the writer’s own experience of viewing a stunning tree covered in butterflies, The Butterfly Tree communicates a universal message of love, friendship, and connection.
This is really a book I can recommend. It tells the tale of a tree, who doesn't feel as special as the ones surrounding it. It doesn't bear fruit for people to eat, nor is it strong like an oak. It's dying, weak and unloved. But when a single butterfly visits the apple tree and is shooed away, a small miracle happens.
This is a book, which belongs in the shelves and is one that can be read to children over and over again for generations to come, too. The tale is heartwarming, encouraging, and simply classic. There is so much goodness in these pages, I don't even know where to begin. Yep, I was that surprised by this one.
The text is easy for young children to understand and will interest older ones as well, since it follows a more traditional tale form. It makes a great read-aloud for groups or individuals or even as a bedtime read. Even those readers who are a bit more sure of their words will enjoy diving into this one. The words might be a bit challenging for beginner readers, but by ages seven or eight, many will be able to breeze through it. And there isn't an over amount of text on each page either.
The illustrations are well done, bright and add to the story as it flows along. Especially the last ones allow the meaning behind the words to come to full light.
In other words, this is a book to pick up and know that it will be enjoyed.