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Bye, Bye, Butterflies!

by Andrew Larsen
illustrated by Jacqueline Hudon-Verrelli

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comments: 0
reviews: 2
list price: $12.99
also available: Hardcover
published: 2014
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Bye, Bye, Butterflies! (A Tell-Me-More Storybook)

At the beginning of Bye, Bye, Butterflies!, a father invites his young son to listen quietly and observe as they walk down the street. Charlie doesn’t forget the amazing thing he sees — a class releasing butterflies as they cry, “Bye, bye butterflies.” When it is his turn to go to school, Charlie, his classmates and their teacher experience the full cycle of butterfly metamorphosis. At the same time Charlie, too, changes and matures.

The exciting, imaginative mood set by Toronto author Andrew Larsen (The Imaginary Garden) blooms through the artwork of Calgary illustrator Jacqueline Hudon-Verrelli. Some of the caterpillars and butterflies are realistic looking, while others are fanciful. Still others are pencil outlines, with no colour or with minimal black-and-white fill. Children, aware that these insects are the artist’s creations, can make their own drawings using the “How to Draw a Butterfly” instructions at the back of the book.

These two pages of information that finish the “Tell-Me-More Storybook” are also crammed with butterfly facts for kids and instructions on how to draw Charlie. While these pages are important, they are also very cluttered and my five-year-old test reader was disengaged for this part of the book. With that exception, however, he was 110% enthralled with Bye, Bye, Butterflies! He clapped his hands with delight during the story and was charmed with the artwork, pointing out happily, for example, the multicultural aspect of Hudon-Verrelli’s images.

Bye, Bye, Butterflies! is a highly successful book for young children. Through word and text, it serves as an invitation to wonder at our natural world.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2012. Volume 35 No. 4.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Bye, Bye, Butterflies! (A Tell-Me-More Storybook)

As a preschooler, Charlie sees a class of children release their butterflies and say goodbye. Charlie wants to do that when he gets older and he gets the chance once he starts school. He becomes a “butterfly scientist” with his classmates as he learns how caterpillars turn into butterflies. Facts about the monarch butterfly’s life cycle, migration and more are also included.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. Spring, 2012.

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One day on a walk with his dad Charlie sees some boys and girls on the rooftop of the school saying goodbye as they release butterflies up into the sky.

Charlie is amazed by all the butterflies flying around and wishes he could do something like that too. And when Charlie starts school next year he becomes a "butterfly scientist" as well and helps his teacher and classmates care for some teeny tiny caterpillars as they grow into butterflies and are released by Charlie and his class. "Bye Bye Butterflies!"

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About the Authors

Andrew Larsen

ANDREW LARSEN'S picture book The Imaginary Garden (Kids Can Press) was nominated for a Governor General's Award in 2009. Andrew lives in Toronto, where he is a writer and a stay-at-home dad.
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Jacqueline Hudon-Verrelli

Children's illustrator Jacqueline Hudon-Verrelli grew up in the tiny village of Zenon Park, Saskatchewan, but now lives in Calgary. Her work has appeared in magazines such as Today's Parent and Skipping Stones.
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