A boy's loneliness in a new home is cured in unexpected ways when writings of his get loose in this ode to passionate young writers.
One day, the books on Paolo's bookshelf take flight, including the titular book, a special volume "where he writes down his secret words and precious POEMS." Paolo is despondent about the loss, but some of the books that escaped find their ways into the hands of various kids around town, who seek out Paolo and befriend him. The Butterfly Book captures the imagination of a young girl named Lilly, who becomes Paolo's first—and biggest—fan and critic. While the music seems pulled from public-domain sources, the detailed artwork and fluid animation enliven what could have been a visually uninteresting story about the power of writing. Instead, the artwork pops, sometimes appearing as comic book–style panels, other times using the entire page to present an outdoor scene. The text's translation from French is rough, with plenty of extra exclamation points, though an alphabet-book portion becomes something of a value-added French primer. Even after selecting English as the language, the French version of the text still appears in an introductory page and on some pages when viewing the visual table of contents.
Despite a few problems, Paolo's story is presented dynamically enough to keep even non-Francophile readers engaged. (iPad storybook app. 5-10)