Book Review & Virtual Blog Tour: Glasswings: A Butterfly's Story

Author/Illustrator: Elisa Kleven
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers (April 11, 2013)
Source: Copy for Review
Audience: Prekindergarten to First Grade
KeywordsFiction * Butterflies * Flowers * City/Town life

Description from GoodReads:
Claire, a glasswing butterfly whose transparent wings reflect her lush home, finds herself lost in the city after being separated from her family. She doesn’t know how they will ever see her, but she finds new city friends, a pigeon, an ant, and a ladybug, who search for the flowers Claire needs to live. They come upon a tiny urban garden, and as Claire drinks from the flowers’ nectar, she pollinates more flowers. Soon the garden—and Claire's clear wings—fill with color, allowing her family to recognize her at last. Together they create an oasis for all to enjoy.  Facts about glasswing butterflies and pollination complete this beautiful and educational picture book. Kleven’s latest offering is as colorful and delicate as a butterfly’s wings—a treasure that can be cherished for years.

My thoughts on this book: 
When I first saw this book several months ago, I thought it was just beautiful.  Here was a story about a glasswing butterfly named Claire that was charming, and also provided me with information about a type of butterfly that I hadn't heard about before.  In addition, Elisa Kleven's illustrations provided just the right feel for the story.  

Recently, I took a second look at the book, and re-read the note at the beginning of the story.  The note stated that Glasswing butterflies are found in Central and South America, and are called Espejitos, or "Little Mirrors".  This time as I read through the book, I picked up all of the subtle ways that the illustrations provide readers with a sense of being in a Central American countryside at the beginning of the book and in a Latin American city as Claire is swept away from her family and to the city.  In her new location, everything is different and new.  Claire misses her family and makes new friends.  
Slowly, as Claire moves around a small city garden, flowers bloom, and other life help to spread seeds and pollinate even more flowers.  The illustrations provide readers with a sense of the magic bursting around Claire and her friends, and a beautiful conclusion to the story. 

Though this may be a fictional story, it would pair beautifully with a unit on flowers and plant growth which is part of kindergarten curriculum.  Look for a copy of this book at your local independent bookstore or community library.  

Click on this link for to purchase a copy of the book.  And stop by on Thursday, for an interview with author/illustrator, Elisa Kleven's as the virtual blog tour continues.     

About the author:
Children’s book author and illustrator Elisa Kleven has touched the lives of thousands of kids and their parents over the past two dec ades with stunning storytelling accompanied by gorgeous drawings in her more than 30 published books . Kleven grew up in Los Angeles and has lived in the San Francisco Bay area since moving there to study at the University of California, Berkeley. Kleven’s latest book “ Glasswings: A Butterfly’s Story ” released Spring 2013 from Dial Press, and her forthcoming tit le this September, “Cozy Light, Cozy Night, ” is one of four featured titles of the debut children’s press Creston Books.

Elisa Kleven's website:

Link to the virtual blog tour dates and information: