Farfalla: A Story of Loss and Hope

( 1 )

Overview

The story is told from the perspective of a young Beetle who, with his mother, meets a crowd of caterpillars in the garden they all frequent. Soon they become friends and he watches in awe as the caterpillars weave themselves into cocoons. A special one catches his attention and Beetle “adopts” it by making all sorts of plans of what they will do together when it hatches. Later, he watches as the cocoons break open one by one and beautiful butterflies emerge and fly away. But the one he counted on to be his ...

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Overview

The story is told from the perspective of a young Beetle who, with his mother, meets a crowd of caterpillars in the garden they all frequent. Soon they become friends and he watches in awe as the caterpillars weave themselves into cocoons. A special one catches his attention and Beetle “adopts” it by making all sorts of plans of what they will do together when it hatches. Later, he watches as the cocoons break open one by one and beautiful butterflies emerge and fly away. But the one he counted on to be his playmate does not. He is deeply saddened and understandably confused. Beetle’s mother explains gently that young friends like his who can’t join him in the garden are with others in the sky. The story ends with Beetle waving to his friend above and wishing happiness.

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Editorial Reviews

Kid Lit Reviews - Suzanne Morris

PreS-Gr 2–A little beetle and his mother discover many yellow-and-black caterpillars on the leaves of a blueberry bush. They become friends, but soon the caterpillars disappear into white glistening cocoons. Little Beetle thinks of all the fun he will have when his friends become butterflies. One day they emerge from their cocoons, dance in the garden, and fly away. A single cocoon remains, and the little beetle names his butterfly-to-be Farfalla. When no butterfly emerges, Mother Beetle puts a leg around her son and gently explains, “Butterflies that are not born go to live with all other butterflies who die and fly up in the sky with the stars and the moon.” Three nighttime spreads reinforce this idea, as a shimmering yellow butterfly says goodbye to Little Beetle. The final spread shows him with the returning butterflies bright against the blue sky. The simple images in the full-color illustrations capture Little Beetle’s feelings of friendship, anticipation, disappointment, sorrow, and acceptance. Mother Beetle’s comforting presence will be mirrored by caring adults helping children who have experienced the loss of a lovingly anticipated sibling. However, the book will need adult explanation as many children are likely to be confused about what happened to Farfalla.–Mary Jean Smith, formerly at Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—A little beetle and his mother discover many yellow-and-black caterpillars on the leaves of a blueberry bush. They become friends, but soon the caterpillars disappear into white glistening cocoons. Little Beetle thinks of all the fun he will have when his friends become butterflies. One day they emerge from their cocoons, dance in the garden, and fly away. A single cocoon remains, and the little beetle names his butterfly-to-be Farfalla. When no butterfly emerges, Mother Beetle puts a leg around her son and gently explains, "Butterflies that are not born go to live with all other butterflies who die and fly up in the sky with the stars and the moon." Three nighttime spreads reinforce this idea, as a shimmering yellow butterfly says goodbye to Little Beetle. The final spread shows him with the returning butterflies bright against the blue sky. The simple images in the full-color illustrations capture Little Beetle's feelings of friendship, anticipation, disappointment, sorrow, and acceptance. Mother Beetle's comforting presence will be mirrored by caring adults helping children who have experienced the loss of a lovingly anticipated sibling. However, the book will need adult explanation as many children are likely to be confused about what happened to Farfalla.—Mary Jean Smith, formerly at Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
The Baytown Sun - Joan Martin

When Mother Beetle and Little Beetle arrived in the garden, they noticed numerous caterpillars on the blueberry bush.

Little Beetle spent the summer playing with his soft fuzzy friends.

One day all the caterpillars disappeared.

His mother pointed up to the glistening cocoons dangling from the tp of the branches of the blueberry bush.

She explained the nature of carerpillars and Little Beetle liiked forward to all the fun he'd have when the butterflies came out of their cocoons.

What a  disappointment.

They all flew away.  Only one cocoon was left that Little Beetle named Farfalla (Italian for butterfly.)

He waited and waited patiently.

Would this turn out to be another disappointment?

Kristin Blackwood's giant beetles and a page full of yellow caterpillars squirming and crawling takes the reader into the middle of the action.

LIttle Beetle imagines being lifted into the sky on the backs of thousands of brillantly colored butterflies.

After experiencing a pregnancy loss, stillbirth or miscarriage, the narrative of Farfalla offer both comfort and hope for the future.

Parents now have a resource to have a conversation with children when tragedy occurs without rhyme or reason.

Farfalla befins like a fable on friendship, but becomes a story of expectation.

The Baytown Sun

When Mother Beetle and Little Beetle arrived in the garden, they noticed numerous caterpillars on the blueberry bush.

Little Beetle spent the summer playing with his soft fuzzy friends.

One day all the caterpillars disappeared.

His mother pointed up to the glistening cocoons dangling from the tp of the branches of the blueberry bush.

She explained the nature of carerpillars and Little Beetle liiked forward to all the fun he'd have when the butterflies came out of their cocoons.

What a  disappointment.

They all flew away.  Only one cocoon was left that Little Beetle named Farfalla (Italian for butterfly.)

He waited and waited patiently.

Would this turn out to be another disappointment?

Kristin Blackwood's giant beetles and a page full of yellow caterpillars squirming and crawling takes the reader into the middle of the action.

LIttle Beetle imagines being lifted into the sky on the backs of thousands of brillantly colored butterflies.

After experiencing a pregnancy loss, stillbirth or miscarriage, the narrative of Farfalla offer both comfort and hope for the future.

Parents now have a resource to have a conversation with children when tragedy occurs without rhyme or reason.

Farfalla befins like a fable on friendship, but becomes a story of expectation.

— Joan Martin

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780983290438
  • Publisher: VanitaBooks, LLC
  • Publication date: 9/1/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 707,510
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author


Vanita Oelschlager is a wife, mother, grandmother, philanthropist,

former teacher, current caregiver, author, and poet. She is a

graduate of Mt. Union College in Alliance, Ohio, where she

currently serves as a Trustee. Vanita is also Writer In Residence

for the Literacy Program at The University of Akron.

Her first book, My Grampy Can't Walk, was widely praised. It's

an uplifting story about the wonderful relationship between her

husband Jim, who has multiple sclerosis, and their grandchildren. Vanita has also supported Jim as he built Oak ssociates, ltd. into a highly respected investment management firm.

Kristin Blackwood is an experienced illustrator whose other VanitaBooks include: My Grampy Can't Walk, Let Me Bee, Big Blue, Made In China and What Pet Will I Get?

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 25, 2013

    This is an interesting book for many reasons. It deals with an

    This is an interesting book for many reasons. It deals with an issue that most people find uncomfortable to address. Most people (myself included) rarely if ever talk to their kids about death or about what happens to a stillborn baby. Farfalla talks about this issue gently, giving hope and spreads a blanket of peace over the subject.

    Many children have to deal with death. I am sure that everyone can think of someone (person or pet) that they knew as a child that passed away. It can be difficult and scary and very sad. Vanita Oelschlager's story gives children a sense of understanding. She gently explains in a universal and non-religious way what happens when we die.

    The illustrations: The artwork is beautiful. I like the bright colors and the way they contrast with the heavy black outlines. Blackwood has a lovely style that is well suited to both the story and the subject. My daughter loves this book because of the "pretty butterflies".

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