That was such a precious experience, and we had a good time reminisicing about it, as we read through the book, and the stages of a butterfly’s life cycle at the close of the book.
The girls enjoyed the book, and were particularly tickled that it featured a “teacher Katie”. Children simply love it when they spot their ‘namesakes’ in fiction!
The illustrations are by Shing, and carry a Japanese feel. I found the look of the “daddy” especially similar to a typical Japanese salaryman! Reuben, the protagonist, also looked very much like himself in real life, since I caught a glimpse of his photo from their site.
I found the book to be most suited for self-reading by 5-7 year olds, though it can be read to younger children. I did find it a little too wordy for B, who is 3 and prefers to be able to flip the page more quickly to discover more pictures.
She did enjoy pointing out the letters of the title, and was quite proud that she could identify them.
Overall, the storyline is simple, yet captures the reluctance of a child to release a ‘pet’ into the great unknown, well. Will a vulnerable little caterpillar survive in the wild? But without being able to provide the necessary food it needs, it will die even under human protection. Such is the very adult quandary little Reuben finds himself in.
Nonetheless, all’s well that ends well in this true-life story. I suppose this tale serves as a reminder to adults too, that many times, it is not only in controlled environments that those who are dear to us, thrive. It takes a certain wisdom to know when to release them to the purposes that they were made for, and to trust that there is a sovereign and good plan that determines their final destiny.
Published by MPH, the book is available at MPH bookstores, and other good bookshops.
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