BUTTERFLIES BELONG HERE: A STORY OF ONE IDEA, THIRTY KIDS, AND A WORLD OF BUTTERFLIES, by Deborah Hopkinson and Meilo So, Chronicle Books, Aug. 4, 2020, Hardcover, $18.99 (ages 5-8)
Butterflies Belong Here: A Story of One Idea, Thirty Kids, and a World of Butterflies, by Deborah Hopkinson and Meilo So, is a book that sticks with you.
The book follows an immigrant girl who is adjusting to life in America.
“I was a little like a caterpillar then: quiet and almost invisible.”
The girl knows a lot about caterpillars and butterflies, because a butterfly book helped her learn English. In the summer, the girl looks and looks for monarchs, but can’t find one. There isn’t any milkweed.
“The problem is so big, and butterflies are so small.”
With the encouragement of her school librarian, the girl does more research.
“It’s surprising what such a tiny creature can do.”
That research report becomes a class project, and suddenly, the girl finds herself becoming a leader.
“The next few weeks felt like a whirlwind. I could feel myself growing and changing, little by little.”
The class project takes on a life of its own, and soon, the entire community is involved.
“Once I tried to hide. But a caterpillar never stays the same for long. It grows and sheds its skin: one, two, three, four, five times before it forms a bright green chrysalis. Then it emerges as something new, unexpected, surprising. Just like me.”
The decline of monarchs is something we should all be mindful of. I love the idea of classes creating monarch way stations at school. It’s also something that could be easily implemented into home school curriculum.
Butterflies Belong Here is a story about perseverance and opening your heart. From the first page, you know there’s something special about this book. Meilo So’s gorgeous illustrations pair perfectly with Deborah Hopkinson’s insightful text.
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