Good Morning Friends,
We had a wonderful week of warm weather in the forties and fifties. It was heavenly after the February we had. And I trust most of you had the same? Nice way to bring in Spring, right? Today I have a book with brilliant summer hues.
Title: Red Butterfly
Author / Illustrator: Deborah Noyes/ Sophie Blackall
Publishing info: Candlewick Press, 2007
Age Range: 6 to 9 years old with grades one through four being best.
Themes: retelling of legend, China, princess, courage,
First Three Lines: “In my father’s kingdom are many splendors. Bells and drums and conchs sound in the city streets. All day long ladies with careful eyebrows crisscross palace courtyards.”
What the jacket says: “Flowing silk flies along behind a young Chinese princess as she lovingly says goodbye to the many splendors of her father’s kingdom. “Goodbye, pink peach petals. Goodbye yellow moon.” At summers end, she must venture to an oasis far away in the hot dry desert. But secretly, boldly, she’ll carry a little piece of adored home with her.
Red Butterfly reimagines the legend of how a gently defiant princess revealed to the world a secret the Chinese had guarded for two thousand years – the secret of silk.
Resources: For a display on red butterflies, Look here:
For an even better teacher guide to red butterflies not having anything to do with the book but I just can’t resist the great display look here:
For a teacher guide on China look here:
And this retelling of an old legend of how a princess smuggled the secret of silk out of China is another grand tale. Told in poetic imagery reminiscent of Chinese with its red butterfly, lotus and peach blossoms, I escaped into long ago China.
In the retelling, the princess is just a child in an arranged marriage and the skill Noyes uses to depict this is amazing. “I am a child with my hair yet cut across my forehead, but soon I will marry the king of far Khotan.”
And the princess goes on to say goodbye to her beloved, yellow moon and pink peach petals. (hear the alliteration? ) Then the courage of with which she hides some silk worms and mulberry seeds upon which they feed is evident. All in all a grand picture book. Just right for Perfect Picture Book Friday.
For my writer friends:
The business of self publishing Children’s Books : Jane Friedman tells all.
How to shut up your inner editor:
This is what Vivian Kirkfield says about the fun over at Susanna Leonard Hill’s site: “Today is Friday and this is my 450th blog post! I have a children’s book review to add to the Perfect Picture Book resource list that author Susanna Leonard Hill is building on her blog. For more wonderful reviews from authors, educators and others who contributed today, please go here.”
Christie Wild had a class examining picture books, I just came too late to the table but here is Vivian’s take of one of her classes.
Enjoy your weekend everyone!