The Children’s Book Review | August 24, 2017
Written and Illustrated by Laura Weston
Age Range: 0-4
Publisher: Big Picture Press (2017)
What to Expect: Nature, Butterflies, Flowers, Lift-the-Flap.
From egg to caterpillar, cocoon to mating, and back to egg and new hatchlings, this book follows the journey of the monarch butterfly as it moves through the stage of its life journey. With its striking black and orange wings, the monarch butterfly is one of the most iconic insects in nature; Laura Weston’s new lift-the-flap exploration invites readers to get up close, bringing these magnificent creatures to vivid life.
What is immediately striking about this book is the use of simple, almost modernist black-and-white illustration to depict the natural world. These stark images combine simplicity with intricate detail in a way that younger readers will find both easy to navigate and interpret, and intriguing to explore. From these stark images, the bright colors hidden beneath the flap are a burst of excitement, bringing the butterflies to life almost as if they had just emerged from hiding. The text throughout the volume is limited to simple noun phrases: “a feast” or “a journey”; the simplicity compliments the illustrations nicely. A final point to note is that the book itself is reassuringly sturdy, with thick board pages and flaps which belie the delicate lines of the illustration, helping the volume to stand up to the attentions of younger, rougher readers. It is, perhaps, worth noting at the same time that the black-and-white simplicity fairly cries out for the attentions of a box of crayons, and few budding artists are likely to be able to withstand the temptation to embellish this volume for long …
Overall, I enjoyed The Butterfly Garden as a reading experience with my excited three-year old son, and I am sure you will too!
About the Author-Illustrator
Laura Weston lives by a marine lake, where oyster catchers dabble and boats bob. She likes the ocean, but she really loves drawing and painting anything with wings, petals, leaves, feathers, or fur! This is her first picture book. When she’s not making art, she likes to teach others all about it.
The Butterfly Garden, by Laura Weston, was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like The Butterfly Garden by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Board Books, Books About Flowers, Butterflies, Lift-the-Flap Books, and Nature.
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