Seasoned illustrator Kleven presents a rich, colorful picture book with a strong ecological message.
Readers follow Claire, a transparent glasswing butterfly, as she soars and swoops and sips nectar, always taking on the hue of her surroundings. Disaster strikes, however, when a gust sweeps her away from her family and her “bright, blooming home” and whisks her off to the city, with its forbidding concrete walls and dearth of life-sustaining flowers. The denizens of this Central American city, a pigeon and a ladybug, are friendly, and they lead the hapless butterfly to an empty lot, where she is able to revive her spirits with nectar from a few scraggly urban flowers. The butterfly’s presence works its magic on the desolate urban setting, and before long, her activities help to pollinate the flowers. The pigeon and the ladybug also help with the gardening, and soon, the garden is a riot of color. And so is Claire! Miraculously, her transparent wings have taken on the flowers’ colors, and they attract a family of glasswings from the country, who turn out to be none other than her beloved relatives. Young children will enjoy spotting the myriad details in the sumptuous collages that fill the pages, modulating the palette expertly as Claire transforms the gray city into a garden.
A joyously optimistic book. (author’s note) (Picture book. 2-5)