First Flight

First Flight

by Sara Fanelli
     
 

Butterfly bursts out of her chrysalis and immediately wants to get closer to the blue sky above but she has no idea how to launch herself. After repeated tumbles she appeals to flight experts all over the world for help. Her search goes to Italy, France, China, Scotland and Brazil. Each time, she tries out a new suggestion and each time, she lands back on earth

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Overview

Butterfly bursts out of her chrysalis and immediately wants to get closer to the blue sky above but she has no idea how to launch herself. After repeated tumbles she appeals to flight experts all over the world for help. Her search goes to Italy, France, China, Scotland and Brazil. Each time, she tries out a new suggestion and each time, she lands back on earth (sometimes with a painful bump). When, eventually, she appeals to her mother for help, Butterfly takes off without even realizing it, and so her quest for flight is at an end — “How happy am I, at last I can fly!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A simple tale of growing independence and confidence.” — Junior Magazine

“It is the pictures that make this book so special. As soon as you look at them you want to start cutting things up and creating your own collages, not to mention mobiles.” — The Times

Publishers Weekly
In collages created with paper scraps from many countries and words in many languages ("Voler! Volare! Fly!"), an earth-bound Butterfly travels in search of a flying teacher. After hatching from her chrysalis, she struggles to get airborne and writes to a newspaper for help. "Hundreds of letters arrived from flight experts all over the world! Butterfly took the first plane available to consult the most famous expert of all." She visits the Italian inventor Leonardo (clad in Renaissance costume), who tethers her to a mechanical contraption, and Mr. Papillon, who instructs her to leap from the Eiffel Tower. A Chinese kitemaker ties her to one of his creations, and a Brazilian dancer shoots her from a cannon. (Oddly, at least for U.S. audiences, Butterfly does not meet an Orville or a Wilbur.) Each time she glides, Butterfly exults, "How happy am I, at last I can fly!" until her ignominious descent. When she finally does take wing, it is by accident, when her mother calls her. In Fanelli's (Mythological Monsters of Ancient Greece) multimedia collages, Butterfly has a girl's face, in a half-moon-shaped profile, and a body made of jumbled alphabetical letters. Her four narrow, rounded wings resemble a dragonfly's. The narrative, printed in tiny type, plays second banana to the wildly patterned, hit-or-miss collages; the more successful compositions focus on the early preparations for and return from the heroine's journey, rather than the interactions with the instructors. Although the fanciful artwork implies innovation, the round-the-world trip and stereotypical foreigners fall flat. Ages 5-9. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The author has written and illustrated this whimsical book about a butterfly's first time to fly. Unsure about its own abilities, it questions famous personalities like Leonardo daVinci, and checks out other things that fly such as insects and airplanes to get their hints on flight. It is all cleverly made of decoupage objects. The reader can see what kinds of art the author has chosen to display the objects in her story. Of course, the butterfly does many more things than are usually expected of such a small creature, but it is the butterfly's mother who finally helps it see that it already is flying. This is a nice book for stories about insect life. 2002, Random House Ltd, Ages 4 to 10.
—Barbara Youngblood
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-A young butterfly, just out of her chrysalis, tries to fly. Unable to do so on her own, she seeks help from experts around the world. In Italy, Leonardo builds her mechanical wings. Mr. Papillon in Paris helps her take off from the Eiffel Tower. Wing flies her like a kite in China. Magical Mac enables her to fly over Scotland. And Marina shoots her from a cannon in Rio. All these attempts are dismal failures, however, until the butterfly ends up at home and discovers she can fly on her own after all. The cut-paper collage illustrations are interesting. Butterfly's torso is fashioned from printed letters that occasionally make words. Her wings are formed from patterned paper, most often containing letters and numbers. Close observers will note words like "afraid," "fly," and "par avion." The plane that Butterfly uses to travel from place to place, and her wings as well, changes ornamentation to reflect the different countries: colors of the French flag, Chinese characters, Scottish plaids. The attire of her helpers, and often the backgrounds on which they appear, also suggests their countries of origin. Although these illustrations provide a good deal to look at, the story comes to a rather abrupt halt, and the proverbs at the end may do more to confuse than enlighten young readers.-Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780224064576
Publisher:
Cape, Jonathan Limited
Publication date:
06/25/2002
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
8.75(w) x 10.87(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

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