A nature lover called Butterfly saves a redwood by living up in the tree for 738 days.
Basing her story on the actual experience of forest activist Julia Butterfly Hill, a young adult whose tree-sit took place from December 1997 to December 1999, Kostecki-Shaw reimagines it as the tale of a young girl and a tree with bright eyes and loving arms. Aided by friends who provide supplies and take away her waste, Butterfly braves a storm and the changing seasons, imagining the appreciation and support of the tree they call Luna. Butterfly shares her experience with the world through letters and radio broadcasts. She climbs to the treetop, explores every branch and meets the other tree-dwelling creatures. One dramatic spread shows a cave within the tree’s trunk, where she finds ferns, berries, birds and even a fox. The mixed-media illustrations use acrylics, watercolor, salt, pencil and collage. Vignettes and panels suggest the passage of time, and penciled comments provide a soundtrack as well as imagined conversation between girl and tree. Two spreads require that the book be turned; these emphasize the tree’s height. In spite of the title, the narrative is in the third person, perhaps reminding readers that this is based on an actual experience described in the author’s note.
A gentle introduction to environmental activism for the very young. (Picture book. 4-7)