Goodnight, Butterfly

Scholastic. (A Very Impatient Caterpillar Book). Aug. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781338615012.
PreS-Gr 2–Awakened in the middle of the night, a hyperactive butterfly, aided by an eternally patient porcupine, launches a series of increasingly silly attempts to get back to sleep. Burach’s mannered humor, stuffed with postmodern gags, winking references, and slapstick action beats, seem to be aimed at adults. The stylized illustrations, made with pencil, crayon, acrylic paint, and digital coloring, recall a self-consciously zany comic strip—an effect magnified by the choice to eschew narration entirely in favor of snappy back-and-forth dialogue in colored speech bubbles. The brief allusions to the phenomenon of nocturnality shoehorned in along the way contribute little to the atmosphere, as they are too slight to be informative and too dry to be funny. Unlike the antic pacing found in a Mo Willems’s book, which creates a narrative arc and leads to a conclusion, this is frenetic without focus.
VERDICT The irreverent humor and wacky visual aesthetic, while amusing enough, may fly over the heads of children.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing