Hello, Little One: A Monarch Butterfly Story

Page Street. May 2020. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781624149313.
PreS-Gr 2–-Lyrically told and handsomely illustrated, this picture book touches upon the life cycle of a monarch butterfly. Little One emerges from its egg and begins to explore: “I crawl from green leaf to green leaf. Eating and waiting. Waiting for something other than these green leaves. Everything is green.” Readers see a close-up image of the just-hatched narrator in an emerald ecosphere. The perspective broadens beyond the milkweed plant when the caterpillar meets Orange, a stunning adult monarch that swoops, soars, and flutters onto the scene. The two strike up an affectionate relationship, as the younger insect shares innate enthusiasm for every new experience, and the elder describes the wider world and imparts bits of wisdom. The digital mixed-media illustrations open out as well, bringing to life scenes and settings described by Orange, who flits above blooming bougainvillea, a school yard filled with laughing children, or churning ocean waves. Little One looks forward to exploring together, but Orange makes clear that her life is almost over, explaining “I must go. We all must go some day.” They say one last goodbye, and Little One clings to the memory of their friendship, emerging from its chrysalis as an adult who gently greets another tiny caterpillar.
VERDICT Share this lovely picture book to launch a science unit, or to introduce evergreen themes including growing up, dealing with loss, and the power of transformation.

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