Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Review: Where Do Butterflies Go At Night? by Jeanne Balsam

When I took a first peek at today's read, I was immediately won over. It follows butterflies in a child's garden, while adding a whimsical and fantastical side. I'm not going to say anything else, except that this book is one I'll be keeping in mind as a gift for my own nieces and nephews. 

by Jeanne Balsam
Illustrated by Stella Maris Mongodi
Picture Book
32 pages
ages up to 6

AUGUST 30th!!!

'Magical', 'evocative' and a 'masterclass in children's writing and illustrating' are just a few words that have been used to describe this stunning book. And yes, you should believe the hype.

Inspired by the author's own observations of the butterflies just outside her window, comes a story of a child's enchantment with the small cabbage white. They dance by the dozens among the flowers, slowly disappearing when shadows grow long.

As sleep calls, our little one wonders, Where do butterflies go at night?



Beautiful illustrations and poetic words divulge the subtle magic found in one of nature's more fragile creatures and leave the reader feeling inspired.

A child and a curious dog watch the butterflies in their garden, but as evening comes, they can't help but wonder where the butterflies go. The next day, they might just discover the secret.

I'm going to rave over the illustrations, first, because they are so well done and a treat to look at. The magic radiates from each page as well as the emotions of the child and the dog. These create the perfect scenes for a bedtime read and invite to dreams. Each page holds a touch of imagination and invites to a world of fantasy. 

The text flows in lovely, poetic style, giving off the same atmosphere as the illustrations and adding just the right words to make each page flow. Each pair of phrases holds an almost musical flair, which not only fits to the atmosphere of the illustrations but makes the two harmonize. The vocabulary is  appropriate for the older end of the intended age group, and the flow does make this feel almost like a lullaby. It does make a nice read-aloud for group settings, and readers/listeners will want to revisit each page and gaze themselves...and end up asking for it to be read again.

As an extra bonus, there is a short information section at the end of the book to help readers learn more about the cabbage white butterfly. Plus, there are a few, short inspirations for readers/listeners to use when creating their own butterfly garden. So, this also works well when tied into a project. 

You can learn more about Jeanne Balsam and her other works:

1 comment:

Jeanne Balsam said...

Thanks for this wonderful review, Tonya!!