Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Caterpillar and Butterfly

Caterpillar and Butterfly by Ambelin Kwaymullina (Fremantle Press)
HB RRP $16.95
ISBN 9-781-863-683-036
Reviewed by Neridah McMullin

This story is about a caterpillar who is too frightened to do anything. She refuses to go with her friends to go the Waterhole in case she falls in, she can’t go to the Tree because she might fall off, or go to the Rock or even watch the Sunset. Everything is too scary and dangerous! And in a way, this is understandable, as Caterpillar is very small and vulnerable.

So Caterpillar hides herself away in her cocoon. This is a magical way for small children to learn about ‘metamorphosis’: how a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. Even though Caterpillar feels safe she misses her friends. After a while, Caterpillar feels herself changing and growing and realises she’s not scared anymore. She has found an inner strength to live her life. With her fears dispelled, she spreads her wings and flies away triumphantly as a beautiful Butterfly to enjoy all the wonders of the world. Butterfly’s world changes dramatically with her newborn freedom, as she also discovers she’s not the only butterfly in the world.

The illustrations are bright and thoroughly engaging. They are contemporary in style, but still reflective of Ambelin Kwaymullina’s indigenous heritage. When looked upon closely you can see intricately drawn speech bubbles coming from Caterpillar/ and Butterfly’s mouth, reflecting her dialogue. Butterfly lives happily, travelling far and wide to help other caterpillars by passing on what she has learnt. 

Everything around us may seem large and scary, but when we hide from the danger of the world we also hide from the wonder of it, for only when we conquer our fear of falling can we learn how to fly."

This is an enthralling and inspiring story that sends a beautiful and positive message about how important it is to be brave and to believe that we all have an ‘inner strength’ to draw upon in times of need. The realisation that you’re never alone is also an important lesson to be learnt.

A wonderful picture book for children aged 1 – 8 years.

No comments:

Post a comment

Buzz Words Books would love to hear what you think.