Review Blog

Jun 06 2017

The butterfly dance by Suzanne Barton

cover image

Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781408864845
(Age: Pre-school - Year 1) Recommended. Caterpillars Dotty and Stripe are good friends and do everything together. One day, as caterpillars must, they spin cocoons and begin their journey as butterflies. How wonderful to rediscover the world as a blue dotty and a red stripy butterfly. Sadly, they are separated when they join different butterfly groups that match their own colours. Can they ever be together as friends again?
This is a delightful story about friendship and following your own beliefs. Dotty and Stripe learn that their colour and patterns do not make a difference to their relationship. Although they enjoy the company of others, they share a bond that makes their companionship special. Children will understand the importance of 'the special friend', which is a theme in many pre-school books.
Illustrations show the ideal beautiful world Dotty and Stripe live in. Collage is used throughout the book and I particularly love the use of lace for each caterpillar's cocoon. The double page meadow scene has lots for the child to enjoy and they will delight in trying to find both butterflies. Suzanne admits to a love of Japanese prints and papers and this is evident on each page.
Dotty and Stripe are very appealing characters and it is easy to identify with their problems and emotions. Children will be keen to see how their difficulties are resolved and will be sad when they are not together.
I would recommend this picture book to both pre-school children and reception, year 1 students.
Jane Moore

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