Title: Hello, Little One: A Monarch Butterfly Story
Written by: Zeena Pliska
Illustrated by: Fiona Halliday
Page Street Kids, 2020
For ages: 4-8
Themes/topics: Monarch butterflies, metamorphosis, life cycles, inter-generational friendship
I crawl from green leaf to green leaf. Eating and waiting. Waiting for something other than these green leaves. Everything is green.
Summary (from the publisher):
Caterpillar crawls from leaf to leaf, eating and waiting, all alone in a big, green world. Then Orange appears―Orange floats, and flits, and flies, graceful and beautiful. In this sweet, moving story of intergenerational friendship, a small caterpillar is befriended by a glorious monarch butterfly, and together they learn to see the world through each other’s eyes.
Why I recommend this book:
This story makes wonderful use of accessible, lyrical language and colors – both in the text and in the art – that put the reader inside the caterpillar’s perspective. As our small caterpillar, Little Green, eats and grows, she longs to be like Orange. She repeats, “I can’t wait to fly with Orange.” A sweet friendship grows as Orange prepares Green for life as a chrysalis…and for the end of Orange’s life cycle. At the story’s closing, there’s a beautiful circling back when the new Orange greets a new caterpillar with “Hello, Little One.” The artwork throughout is exquisite, and the back matter includes more details concerning the different stages of the Monarch’s life. This touching story of friendship and the life cycle exudes warmth and may elicit a few tears (from the parent) when you read with your little one.
For parents and educators:
Be sure to check out Vivian Kirkfield’s PPBF post for this title to see the fun butterfly crafts she recommends as well as the book’s trailer:
And check out this great interview with Zeena, also on Vivian’s blog: https://viviankirkfield.com/2020/05/23/zeena-pliska-will-write-for-cookies-plus-critique-giveaway/
(For a colossal collection of picture book reviews, please visit this page on Susanna’s site: http://susannahill.com/for-teachers-and-parents/perfect-picture-books/.)