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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Butterfly Tree by Sandra Markle

Hi guys!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers…the Saturday edition.

Today’s post will have you clamoring for your backyards, front yards and everything in between…depending upon which part of North America you currently reside in.  Why?  It’s Fall or at least the beginning of this (short lived) season in Florida and with it comes a remarkable occurrence.  No, I’m not referring to “love bug” season…though that coincides with it (*yuck*)…I’m talking about something much more beautiful, much more enchanting.  It’s something that when seen individually gives pause to the heart but collectively, stirs the soul. 

The event of which I speak is the Monarch Butterfly migration.  It’s one of nature’s beauties and the star of today’s post…only in storybook form.  That’s right!  It’s one of those two-for-one beauties where you learn a little something while basking in the wonders that exist in nature.  Ready to read all about it?  Here we go!  Today’s book of choice is….

Illustrated by

From the publisher
One late afternoon in early September, Jilly sees something. It looks like it's raining black pepper from a clear blue sky. Then the black rain becomes a wispy mist. And then a spooky orange cloud. What can it be? Jilly and Mom set out to identify the mysterious orange cloud. The closer they get, the more curious Jilly gets. Gradually, the hidden world of nature opens to mother and daughter.

…and so sets the stage for a day of unexpected exploration with Mom and a beauteous  look at a yearly event that passes most of us by. 

The story itself is written in a poetic format though no rhyming will be found.  It speaks softly to the reader so as not to disturb the mood it sets.  It wanders round to the outer edges of the page to allow the events to unfold center stage.  The sheer wonder Jilly experiences in the sights she sees combined with the boisterous reaction of her dog Fudge and the sharing of a memory almost forgotten but only just from dear old Mom make this a tale that the whole family can enjoy whether from their own experiences or the eyes of the illustrator.  Speaking of the illustrator…

While the story winds its way into your heart, if it wasn’t for the illustrations that accompany it…the effect would still be great but not nearly as lasting.  Each page is covered in a full color picture laying out the scene described before your very eyes.  From the slant of light through the trees to the slight feeling of foreboding Lilly experiences upon first entering the forest, all the feelings and magic moments are depicted vividly.  Most vivid of all however are the butterflies.  The color is rich, the amount of detail is just right.  To my untrained eye, the images appear not merely drawn but painted (perhaps oil paints if I had to hazard a guess), so that slight blur of a line or color speckled background benefits from the depth that occurs as a result of the technique.  Really something to see…

So, if you’re looking for a Fall title for readers of all ages, this might just be the ticket for you.  The story will capture the imagination in so few words while the images dance before your eyes in a swirling mass of deep oranges and burnt reds.  You can’t help but be whisked away by the beauty before you…I know I was, even though I’m not so certain I’d like to be IN the cloud of butterflies; more like from a short distance (^_^).  Oh and don’t be surprised if after all is said and done you feel compelled to investigate this yearly journey off the page…that desire was foreseen and a few handy sites to help you on your way are even included! 

Special thanks to Peachtree Publishers for the review copy. (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their complete (and growing!) catalog of goodness, be sure to visit them online, check out their blog, like them on Facebook or follow on Twitter.  This book was released last year and should be available now on a bookstore shelf near you.

Until next time…happy reading!


Felicity Grace Terry said...

Such a wonderful post, made even better because I cannot remember the last time I saw a butterfly here in the north east of England.

Tales of Whimsy said...

Beautiful post. This sounds great. And it's so interesting that you mention the butterfly migration because I just noticed a bunch yesterday.

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