Butterfly Boy

Butterfly Boy

by Virginia Kroll, Gerardo Suzan
     
 

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Every sunny afternoon, Emilio wheels his grandfather outside to watch the butterflies. Emilio's grandfather can no longer speak, but Emilio can see happiness in the older man's eyes as he watches butterflies dance through the air. But one day the butterflies fly away. Can Emilio bring them back and make his grandfather smile with more than just his eyes? Virginia

Overview


Every sunny afternoon, Emilio wheels his grandfather outside to watch the butterflies. Emilio's grandfather can no longer speak, but Emilio can see happiness in the older man's eyes as he watches butterflies dance through the air. But one day the butterflies fly away. Can Emilio bring them back and make his grandfather smile with more than just his eyes? Virginia Kroll's beautiful story is written with love and is magically illustrated by Gerardo Suzán.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Striking artwork distinguishes this tale of Emilio and his invalid grandfather, Abuelo, who are visited one afternoon by a flock of red admiral butterflies. Watching them, Emilio knows his grandfather is "smiling inside, even though his mouth could no longer show it." In winter, they research the butterflies and eagerly await their return. But when Emilio's father paints the garage blue (red admirals like white surfaces), it's up to the boy to ensure they'll come back to delight his grandfather. Kroll's (Masai and I) prose is deft and assured, her pacing impeccable, and the affectionate relationship between Emilio and his grandfather rings true. Mexican artist Suzn plays up the Latino flavor with a fiesta-bright palette, and, with a nod to magical realism, he serves up dreamlike images that float and hover against a cerulean backdrop. Hats dissolve into flowers, birds and cloud-dappled skies, while the flattened planes of the characters' sculptural faces mirror the strength and solidity of totems. The eye-catching images will draw readers in; the affecting story will sustain their interest. Ages 5-8. (May)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4A tender story about a loving Hispanic family. Although his parents tell him that his grandfather can no longer understand his words, Emilio continues to read to Abuelo, encouraged by the spark in the old man's eyes. When butterflies flutter around the garage wall, the boy is sure Abuelo is smiling, though his lips cannot show it. Emilio gets within inches of the colorful insects and his neighbor calls him "Butterfly Boy." During the winter, he finds a book that identifies the butterflies as red admirals. They flock to the wall because they are attracted to white surfaces and will probably return in the spring. When Emilio glimpses the first red admirals, he rushes home. Agitated, Abuelo points to the boy's father, who is painting the garage blue. While several butterflies flutter aimlessly about the yard, Emilio yanks his white shirt from the clothesline and puts it on, standing still as a statue. The butterflies come to rest on him, one by one, and his father heads out to buy white paint. Emilio feels his heart burst with joy as Abuelo smiles. The close relationship between grandfather and grandson shines through brightly in this story of two people who share a passion for beauty. Abuelo is less articulate, but no less intense. Suzn's illustrations, done in watercolors, acrylics, and salt, are unusual and memorable, drawing readers' eyes with dreamlike, almost surreal juxtapositions of shape and color.Lisa S. Murphy, formerly at Dauphin County Library System, Harrisburg, PA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590780558
Publisher:
Highlights Press
Publication date:
03/01/2003
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x (d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Virginia Kroll is the author of many books for children, including Hands!, illustrated by Cathryn Falwell. She lives in Buffalo, New York.

Gerardo Suzán is an award-winning artist whose work has been exhibited around the world. He lives in Mexico City.

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