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I Wish I Were a Butterfly
     

I Wish I Were a Butterfly

4.0 1
by James Howe, Ed Young (Illustrator)
 

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The littlest cricket of Swampswallow Pond is convinced only by the Wise Old One that being special has nothing to do with physical metamorphosis, flashy colors, or shimmering wings. “The cricket is every child who stopped the music because someone criticized casually, thoughtlessly. It takes a wise friend to bring the music back.”—School Library

Overview

The littlest cricket of Swampswallow Pond is convinced only by the Wise Old One that being special has nothing to do with physical metamorphosis, flashy colors, or shimmering wings. “The cricket is every child who stopped the music because someone criticized casually, thoughtlessly. It takes a wise friend to bring the music back.”—School Library Journal

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble Staff
The littlest cricket is sad. The frog told him he is the ugliest creature around the pond. How he wishes he were a beautiful butterfly! All the other insects offer advice, but only his friend the spider knows how to help. She reassures cricket that he is beautiful to her because he is her friend. Feeling better, cricket begins to sing, just as a butterfly floats overhead. "What beautiful music" thinks the butterfly, "I wish I were a cricket!" Young's illustrations add a stunning insect-eye-view of nature to the parable.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
After the frog at the pond's edge tells him that he's ugly, the cricket of Swampswallow Pond loses his zest for life and for singing. The glowworm and the ladybug try to persuade the cricket that he's just as good as the rest of them, while the dragonfly declares, ``Wishing is a waste of time.'' Finally, the Old One, a spider who lives on the other side of the pond, spins a wise tale about the real beauty of friendship and convinces the cricket to sing again. The author tells the familiar story of the loss of identity and the uniqueness of individuals in a wistful, not particularly fresh, way. While Howe gives insects a human dimension, Young perceives that world with the eye of a cricket or a dragonfly, noting the color variations and luster on that particular wavelength. The resultant paintings are extraordinary, almost abstract works, much worthier of praise than this oft-told tale. Ages 4-8. or this oft-passed-back-and- forth-review!!!(October)
Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
The littlest cricket does not want to make music and he can't tolerate hearing the sounds of all the other crickets fiddling. Don't they know they are ugly? The frog living at the edge of the pond told the littlest cricket how ugly he is, and now the cricket wants to be a beautiful butterfly. He tries to explain his problem to the glowworm, the ladybug, and the dragonfly, but they all refuse to offer him any sympathy. Finally he decides to seek counsel with the Old One, the spider in her web on the other side of the pond. The spider convinces the cricket that they are two beautiful friends and, as she spins her web, she mentions how nice it would be to have music while she works. The littlest cricket begins to fiddle and a butterfly passing by thinks the music is beautiful and says, "I wish I were a cricket." The illustrations are wonderful-done in pastel by an award-winning artist.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3 In the cleanest, clearest prose he's written to date, Howe tells a simple fable that deserves to stay in print a long, long, time. The littlest cricket is so miserable that he refuses to make music because the frog called him ugly. He wishes he were a butterfly instead. When he sees the wise old spider, she tells him what she thinks of him and what she has learned in her spider's life ``spinning and waiting, waiting and spinning.'' He finally feels beautiful, and of course, he is. He begins to fiddle again, and a butterfly, hearing, says, ``I wish I were a cricket.'' Young's shimmering pastels create an insect's view, moving from the cricket's dark jungle of grass with flashes of sun, to light from the butterfly's viewpoint. An excellent lap book, the story also tells well. The cricket is Everychild who stopped the music because someone criticized casually, thoughtlessly. It takes a wise friend to bring the music back, if it's possible. This book could help. Helen Gregory, Grosse Pointe Pub . Lib . , Mich.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780152380137
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
02/28/1994
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
232,329
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.17(d)
Lexile:
540L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

James Howe has published more than seventy books for young readers, including the wildly popular Bunnicula, which, along with its sequels, has earned children's choice awards in 18 states. His other books include the Sebastian Barth mysteries, the Pinky and Rex read-aloud series, and The Watcher, a highly acclaimed young adult novel.

ED YOUNG is the renowned author-illustrator of more than fifty books for children, including the Caldecott Medal-winning Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China and the Caldecott Honor book Seven Blind Mice. He lives in New York.

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I Wish I Were a Butterfly 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reading this book makes me feel like it's ok to just be me.