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WHY BUTTERFLIES GO BY ON SILENT WINGS by Marguerite W. Davol Kirkus Star


by Marguerite W. Davol & illustrated by Rob Roth

Pub Date: May 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-531-30322-5
Publisher: Orchard

Davol (The Loudest, Fastest, Best Drummer in Kansas, 2000, etc.) spins an original pourquoi tale of when the world was young and butterflies were dressed in dull colors, earth-tones of browns and grays and washed-out pinks and purples. The butterflies were chatty, noisy creatures that couldn’t stop commenting on everything they saw and they were the loudest in a land of loud animals. A sudden thunderstorm and bolt of lighting splits the butterflies’ tree in half, stunning them into silence. In the silent aftermath of the storm, as the sun warmed their wings, the butterflies began to glow with color, “gold of the sun, the blue of the sky, and all the colors of the rainbow.” In awe, they stopped shouting at each other and flew away on silent wings, and the rest of the animals quieted down, too. While the story doesn’t soar, it’s the breathtaking art that sets this apart. Roth’s (Mama Provi and the Pot of Rice, 1997, etc.) exquisitely detailed, naturalistic watercolor paintings of wildflowers, sunflowers, poppies, allium, tiger lilies, and daisies shimmer on the page. Monkeys swing over the top of double-paged spreads as hyenas, elephants, giraffes, and zebras stroll across the bottom. A lovely appeal for quiet contemplation of nature’s gifts. (Picture book. 5-8)