The Butterfly

( 8 )

Overview

Ever since the Nazis marched into Monique's small French village, terrorizing it, nothing surprises her, until the night Monique encounters 'the little ghost' sitting at the end of her bed. She turns out to be a girl named Sevrine, who has been hiding from the Nazis in Monique's basement. Playing after dark, the two become friends, until, in a terrifying moment, they are discovered, sending both of their families into a nighttime flight.

During the Nazi occupation ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$12.84
BN.com price
(Save 24%)$16.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (32) from $1.99   
  • New (13) from $9.78   
  • Used (19) from $1.99   
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

Overview

Ever since the Nazis marched into Monique's small French village, terrorizing it, nothing surprises her, until the night Monique encounters 'the little ghost' sitting at the end of her bed. She turns out to be a girl named Sevrine, who has been hiding from the Nazis in Monique's basement. Playing after dark, the two become friends, until, in a terrifying moment, they are discovered, sending both of their families into a nighttime flight.

During the Nazi occupation of France, Monique's mother hides a Jewish family in her basement and tries to help them escape to freedom.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Drawing from the experience of family members, Polacco takes us back to a Nazi-occupied French village during World War II. What young Monique first thinks is a ghost in her room turns out to be a young Jewish girl, Severine, being hidden with her parents in Monique's basement. The girls steal moments of pleasure together. But fear of discovery forces the family to move on. The butterfly becomes a symbol of freedom. Polacco's lengthy but very readable text brings alive the joy of the girls' time together and the terror of discovery by the Nazis. The village and some of its occupants are introduced in the several pages before the text begins, so that we already feel the anxiety produced by the Nazis as well as the humanity of Monique's mother. Character is created in the sequence of portraits as events evoke emotions of horror, sorrow, friendly pleasures and familial security. The scenes are detailed where important, but otherwise exploit the potentials of color to help tell the story most effectively. A note from the author fills in the historical background. 2000, Philomel Books/Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers, Ages 6 to 10, $16.99. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz—Children's Literature
Children's Literature
Once again, readers are introduced to members of Patricia Polacco's extended family. The setting is France during the Nazi occupation of WWII. Her great aunt Marcel Solliliage and her daughter Monique became a part of the French Resistance. They risked their lives to hide Jews in an effort to help them escape the fate the so many suffered. The story is filled with tension, symbolism and the brutality of the occupation, and the mistreatment of the Jews is not whitewashed. Young Monique grew up fast when she learned that her mother was sheltering a Jewish family and she resolved to keep the secret. Unfortunately, she and the daughter of the family were seen by a neighbor and they had to flee. Only the daughter survived as the Author's Note reveals. While a picture book, this story is for older readers--it requires an understanding or a bit more of an explanation of WWII and the persecution of the Jews. 2000, Philomel, Ages 8 up, $16.99. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
Gr 1-5-Polacco relates the tale of her Aunt Monique to show, in picture-book terms, the suffering of the Jews during Nazi occupation and the courage of those who took part in the French Resistance. The setting is a small village; unbeknownst to the child, Monique's mother is hiding Jews in their basement. It is at night, when Sevrine emerges from the depths to peer out the window, that Monique awakens and the secret friendship begins. Polacco's use of color has never been more effective. The blackness, which starts on the endpapers, surrounds the girls' conversations, Sevrine's basement existence, the ditch hiding the two families as they flee to the next refuge, and the train car on Monique's return trip (she has become separated from her mother). In contrast are the light-filled scenes of Monique and her mother at breakfast, their sweet reunion at home, and, on the last page, mother and child surrounded by butterflies. Earlier, Monique had watched a soldier crush a papillon; later, she had taken a fluttering "kiss of an angel" inside for her friend. The bold pattern and heightened color of the insect provides a counterpoint to the equally dynamic black-on-red swastikas. Convincing in its portrayal of both the disturbing and humanitarian forces of the time, the title is not as dark or graphic as Robert Innocenti's Rose Blanche (Harcourt, 1996). An author's note relates the rest of the story: Sevrine survived and the friendship still flourishes. A perfect blend of art and story.-Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Childrens Book Watch
Monique finds her life changed by the Nazis during the war; but her real change comes when she discovers a Jewish girl is hiding from them in her own basement. The two become friends, but their friendship endangers their families. Good reading skills required for this fiction story of wartime friendships and experiences.
—Childrens Book Watch
Kirkus Reviews
During the Nazi occupation of France, Monique discovers that a young Jewish girl named Serine has been hidden in her cellar. It is a surprise to Monique that her mother and father have been sheltering the family, but she does not let on that she knows. The girls visit and play together in the evening when the rest of the household is asleep. "They laughed and giggled, and told each other their dreams." Although frightened by the presence of Nazi soldiers in her village, their friendship grows, and Monique brings gifts to Serine from the outside world: rich soil, a bright flower, and finally a real wonder, a butterfly. A neighbor catches a glimpse of Serine, and the family must flee. This is another one of Polacco's (Thank You Mr. Falker, 1998) family stories based on real events and retold in a dramatic picture book for older readers. The strikingly detailed marker and pencil illustrations bring forth the fear, deprivation, and small joys of the time. The richness of the illustrations from the blue-patterned teacups to the gallery of dog portraits that adorn a staircase evokes a strong sense of time and place. Polacco uses a palette of pinks and pastels that are quickly overshadowed by grays, black, and red to evoke Monique's growing realizations of the oppression, danger, and darkness of the moment. A strong contrast comes at the end when hope returns in the form of dozens of bright orange-and-black butterflies. Polacco's choice of monarchs to depict the butterflies emphasizes the miraculous nature of this occurrence because, although these butterflies are abundant in North America, they are rarely sighted in Europe. A portrait of friendship, courage, andhope.(author's note) (Picture book. 6-10)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399231704
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 293,830
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 430L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.75 (w) x 11.25 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Polacco
Patricia Polacco lives in Union City, Michigan.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2007

    Greatest Polacco Book EVER

    This is a heartwarming story of a girl, Monique, who finds a Jewish friend, Sevrine. It is also about their meetings at night. But when a neighbor spies them, it endangers both Monique and Sevrine¿s families. Sevrine¿s family has to flee. This book is a terrific book. This book would be wonderful for anyone who is learning about the French invasion, which is one of the saddest times in history.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2004

    The Butterfly

    The Butterfly by Patricia Polacco is good for 2nd through 4th grade readers. The story takes place in a small French village. The Nazis soldiers sought to eliminate all the Jews from the village. The main character is Monique. She is bold and very generous. What will The Nazis soldiers do to the Jews? The Butterfy made me feel kind of sorry because The Nazis soldiers were hurting the Jews. I liked the book because I learned how cruel the Nazis soldiers were to the Jews.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2004

    The Butterfly

    This novel is very inspiring and true. The author was very descriptive in his writing. This story took place in Germany during the time of the holocaust. The main character of the story is a young brave female name Monique. This book made me feel like I was in the story. It gave a great description of the Nazis and how they treated the Jews. When I looked at the title of this book I did not have a very high expectation of it. If you like history you will enjoy this book. If you love to read you will come back to the library with a smile after reading this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2002

    Geart Book!

    This book is great. It is great because it teels about World War 2. This girls are very brave.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2001

    Two Bave Little Girls-

    A wonderful way to explain the French occupation to students in elementary or middle school. WWII is moving in on Marcel Solliliage and her daughter in a small village in France. A beautiful butterfly brings the outside world to two small girls only to have them separated because they were seen letting a butterfly go out a window at night. Sevrine and her family live in a secret room in the cellar. This is a true story written by a great granddaughter. Marcel Solliliage was a citizen of France that was part of the Frence underground that was organized by General Charles de Gaulle. She was one of many they made their homes a safe place for Jews escaping to freedom during the terrible Nazi occupation. What a wonderful way to introduce this sad time in history.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)