Butterflies Belong Here: A Story of One Idea, Thirty Kids, and a World of Butterflies

Deborah Hopkinson, illus. by Meilo So. Chronicle, $18.99 (68p) ISBN 978-1-4521-7680-2
Following an earlier, similarly structured collaboration by this team (Follow the Moon Home) about a child gaining self-assurance while working on an environmental project, Hopkinson and So introduce a brown-skinned girl whose confidence grows as she organizes her class to start a milkweed garden for migrating monarchs. “That’s me in the back,” the girl says, holding up her class picture; “I was a little like a caterpillar then:/ quiet and almost invisible.” A librarian gives her illustrated books about monarchs whose imagined pages interleave with the girl’s own story, and the butterflies’ migration path mirrors her own (“I wondered if monarch butterflies belonged here. Sometimes I wondered if we did, too”). A research poster she makes about monarchs inspires her classmates, and—with input from experts, a budget, and presentations to the school and beyond—a school monarch way station takes shape. So’s delicate mixed-media drawings capture the girl’s classmates and portrays the protagonist as she journeys from lonely newcomer to poised leader. An author’s note and bibliography tell readers how to make their own gardens. Ages 5–8. Author’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. Illustrator’s agent: Sally Heflin, Heflinreps. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/25/2020
Release date: 08/01/2020
Genre: Children's
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