The Butterfly Boy

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1993 Hardcover Fair Ex-library. Binding solid. Cover showsl wear. Light interior markings. Good reading copy. Heavy wear. All items shipped to US include delivery confirmation. ... Thanks for looking! Read more Show Less

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Drawn from the writings of Chuang Tzu, the fourth-century B.C. thinker sometimes called the Butterfly Philosopher, this delicate prose poem tells of ``a boy who dreamed he was a butterfly and, as a butterfly, he always dreamed he was a boy.'' Though the boy endures the laughter of others as he tries to suck nectar from flowers and finds beauty in stagnant water, he is heaped with praise after he fails to bow before a marauding warlord (who reminds the boy of a beetle on its back). Yet the dreamy boy cares little for the world's opinion, for he is happy as he is. Yep's simple language is exquisite in its clarity and, like a pebble thrown into water, creates ripples of meaning. A similar ethereal sensibility graces Lee's paintings. Mottled backgrounds capture the story's ephemeral essence while the somewhat stylized figures are drawn with the care of a calligrapher. Details of the boy's butterfly visions are highlighted in sumptuously colored boxes superimposed, cartouche-like, upon the page, like patterns on a kimono. Quiet strength and inner serenity pervade this masterly combination of text, artwork and design. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Sheree Van Vreede
Every day, Emilio wheels his grandfather, Abuelo, outdoors. Abuelo can no longer talk, but Emilio likes to spend time with him reading and sitting outside. One afternoon they discover a group of red admiral butterflies. Emilio and Abuelo find a way to communicate through their fascination with them. Emilio can see Abuelo's eyes light up when he looks at the butterflies. A vibrant blue, eye-catching picture book celebrating the joy of innocence and nature, while bridging the gap between generations.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-The Butterfly Boy "...dreamed he was a butterfly, and, as a butterfly, he always dreamed he was a boy." He often acts like one, dancing on the flowers on a lady's robe and riding on a buffalo's back. He is unconcerned with the opinions of those who laugh at him, even when he mocks an invading army and is brought before the commander (a scene that briefly provides some dramatic action). Yep's skill as a writer shows in his elegant language and his ability to express ideas gracefully and specifically that might otherwise be vague. One of the themes of this story (which is based on writings of an ancient Chinese philosopher) is reverence for nature and joy in its cycles. This is undoubtly a worthy message, but, unfortunately, this book has too little plot and too much philosophy, and many youngsters are sure to find parts of it confusing. The attractive paintings, glowing double-paged spreads, are as poetic as the unrhymed text. The images are full of emotion and entirely appropriate to the culture depicted. Overall, Lee's artwork is a considerable asset to this collaboration. However, the story has limited child appeal.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Hazel Rochman
"There once was a boy who dreamed he was a butterfly, and, as a butterfly, he always dreamed he was a boy." The rhythmic text has a poetic simplicity in this delicate transformation story, which draws on the writings of an ancient Chinese philosopher. It's a story of an outsider who sees beyond the everyday. The boy plays the traditional role of the visionary fool: Everyone laughs at him because he tries to suck nectar from flowers or because he stares and stares at scum; they don't know that he sees rainbows. When people mock him, he imagines he's flying toward the sun. He also sees that an invading army resembles a giant centipede, and when the soldiers are defeated, he's proved right. The different ways of seeing are expressed in different kinds of brightly colored illustrations, from the formal style of Chinese woodcuts to the sensuous, surreal images of dreams.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374310035
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 9/1/1993
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.24 (w) x 11.27 (h) x 0.42 (d)

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