Written by Lisa Reinicke
Illustrated by Scot McDonald
Published in 2017
Why we chose this book:
T is eager to catch animals as it warms up. We've talked about how he will have to be gentle, and that he'll have to release them back into the wild. When I heard about a search for reviews for a book about how a little boy should treat a butterfly, I thought it might reinforce the message we are trying to convey.
Mom and Son's Review
(son age 3)
A dialog on friendship between a butterfly and a human.
This poem in two voices conveys the love between a boy and a butterfly. Comparing their wings and feet, both the boy and butterfly find many shared features. The boy admires and loves the butterfly; he invites the butterfly to come live with him, assuring the insect of excellent care. The butterfly explains why he must remain free and what impact each of the boy's proposals would have on him. The boy understands and appreciates the butterfly from a distance.
As T and I read, he began to say the repetitive lines eagerly. We talked about how the butterfly and boy must feel, and T initially wanted the boy to keep the butterfly. By the end of the book, with a fair amount of conversation, he was convinced that butterflies should remain free. Wings and Feet is a poetic examination of respect for nature and a lovely tool for fostering conversation about what all living things share.
Mom: Did you notice what the little boy wanted to do with the butterfly? Where did he want to put her? Was that good for her?
Son: In a jar...not good for her.
Mom: So how should he take care of it?
Son: By letting it fly.
Mom: Do you think you might want to look for butterflies this summer?
Son: I would catch them.
(And this is where we had a whole 'nother conversation about this.)
Mom: Can I tell you how I like to enjoy butterflies? I like to see them in our neighbor's beautiful garden.
Son: I like to see them in our garden.
Mom: What kind of bug would you most like to see in the garden? I like to see butterflies and grasshoppers.
Son: I like to see butterflies.
Mom: Did you like the book?
Son: No because the boy was trying to catch it.
Mom: But what did he learn?
Son: That you shouldn't catch it.
Mom: Did he catch it at the end, or were they both happy?
Mom: When would it be a good time to read this book do you think?
Son: When you see butterflies.
Mom: And who should read this book?