Once there was a girl who was moving to a new town.
This made her sad. She was going to miss the birds that sang
in the morning and the crickets that sang at night.
But most of all, she was going to miss the butterflies.
When the little girl arrives at her new home, she discovers that she lives right next door to a magical gate labeled BUTTERFLY PARK. Unfortunately, when she goes to visit, there are no butterflies. She and a neighbor catch a butterfly and takes it to the park, but it doesn't stay. After several more tries, with the same results, she follows the butterfly, and discovers that the butterflies are searching for flowers. The little girl brings a bouquet to the garden, but that isn't enough. Her neighbors arrive with "boots and gnomes and gardens and trowels and dirt and shovels" and together, they transform the park into a magical place, depicted in a beautiful fold out spread, where butterflies really do want to live.
The illustrations in this book are fascinating. They look like collage, except they are 3-D. Of course (because I have nothing else to do in the last two weeks of school), I had to go to author/illustrator Elly Mackay's website, to see if I could learn a little more. On her website, Mackay describes her style as light box photography or paper theater. You really need to go to her website and check out her process! It's super interesting and might be a great project to try with kids, especially this last week of school, when they just need something totally wonderful to capture their minds and hands!
This would be a terrific read aloud in a unit on butterflies or ecosystems or community activism or how one person can make a difference!