Westly is a caterpillar who is destined to be a Monarch butterfly, but when he emerges from his cocoon he is not what he expected. He's a spider!
Westly flees his home among the butterflies and is eventually adopted by the "dirt eaters." But where does Westly belong? And what can he do to stop an outside threat that could destroy his entire kingdom? One thing is for certain, Westly is determined to make a difference, to belong, to be loved, and most importantly, to become who he was born to be.
About the Author
Bryan Beus-which rhymes with Zeus-is the winner of the Kirchoff/Wohlberg Award from the New York Society of Illustrators. He has done illustrations for book covers and now works full time as an artist of fine art illustrations. When not writing and drawing, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amanda, mindful meditation, drinking root beer floats, and eating far too many Sour Patch Watermelons. Westly is his debut novel. To see more of Bryan's art and stories, visit www.BryanBeus.com.
Ramon de Ocampo, an Earphones Award-winning narrator, was a co-winner in 2018 of the Audie Award for Best Multi-Voiced Performance. A graduate of the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama, he has been seen on television, film, and stages all over the world, including recurring roles on such television shows as The West Wing, 12 Monkeys, Sons of Anarchy, and Medium. He is the winner of a prestigious Obie Award for his stage work.
Read an Excerpt
The metamorphosis was the most important ceremony of the year. For the caterpillars, there was nothing greater than the day they revealed their true colors. In fact, the color of their wings determined much of the rest of their lives. A butterfly's wings had to complement specific flowers in the chandelier, which determined which tier the butterfly would live in. Those born to the highest rank-usually those with ultramarine blue wings-were selected for the council of the king-blue being the natural complementary color to monarchial orange.
Unlike the other caterpillars who were anxious about the metamorphosis, Westly was more anxious about what came after that. It was no secret to him how he would look: all monarchs bore a similar design of orange and black with white spots. What concerned him the most was the role he would need to play as a butterfly prince.
His father had reminded him that, as the prince, Westly would be responsible for the future of the chandelier. But what if I make a mistake as the prince? What if I lose the respect of the others? What if our chandelier home is overrun with weeds? It would all be my fault.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Wesley is a really cute story for youngsters with good life lessons to learn. As with people some think they are much better than others, whether they are better looking or have better material things. In this story the better ones, or so they believe are the butterflies, and the other bugs are the “dirt eaters,” a rather subservient term. Something goes rather wrong when Wesley, the Kings son, goes into his cocoon to become a butterfly, and when he immerges he is one of the dirt eaters, a spider. Poor Wesley his life sure take a severe turn, he is no longer the top of the insects, as they believe themselves to be. We are shown in a cute way, what happens when we listen to the wrong people and how our world can get turned upside down. Will this happen to Wesley, guess that is a sure bet, but what happens to all of the insects when their world is about to collapse. We are shown how quickly our life can change with danger lurking, and learning to listen to what your mind is telling you, and acceptance of others. A fun read with lots of lessons to be learned! I received this book through I Am A Reader, Not A Writer Book Blogger Program, and was not required to give a positive review.
Westly knows he's a little bit different but, then again, he IS a prince - heir to the Monarch butterfly who is the king of the chandelier realm inside a glass menagerie. Westly finds out just how different he is after the transformation ceremony, when he emerges from his cocoon totally unlike his friends. Feeling unwanted and unloved, Westly sets out to find a place where he belongs. He encounters adventures and strange creatures along the way. Who is a friend and who is a foe? Can the Raven who offers to help him be trusted? And, when disaster strikes, will little Westly be able to save the day? Even though this is a children's fantasy book, the personification of the insect characters is taken too far and became extremely distracting; there are references to body parts insects don't have (stomach, lung, heart, spine, chin, eyebrows, teeth, fingers, etc.) and actions they cannot perform (such as breathing, blinking, crying, etc. - I'll give a pass to talking and smiling). *Spoiler alert* Other points of contention: the title gives away any surprise at Westly's transformation; Westly has never seen a bird yet knows it's a bird; the raven has waited patiently for the key and ends up smashing the door down anyway; it's never explained how Westly became a spider when he started off as a caterpillar. Nevertheless, this book provides a good starting point to discuss subjects such as bullying and class distinction with your children. Westly grows up believing that it's the butterflies versus the Dirt Eaters (or bugs). Over the course of the story, Westly learns that both kingdoms depend on each other for survival, even if they don't know it. He also learns about acceptance, belonging, and honor. The story is complemented throughout by delightful black and white illustrations, also by the author. Suitable for ages 8 and up. I received this book in return for an honest review. Full blog post: http://booksdirectonline.blogspot.com/2015/09/westly-a-spiders-tale-by-bryan-beus.html