Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Butterfly Tree

Butterfly Tree

Sandra Markle
Illustrator:  Leslie Wu 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Peachtree Publishers, 2011   ISBN: 978-1561455393

One September afternoon, Jilly is on the beach playing fetch with her dog Fudge. As she looks out across the lake, a strange cloud gathers over the water. To her “it looks like it’s raining black pepper from a clear blue sky.”

As it gets closer, the cloud gets bigger and bigger, and Jilly sees that it is orange in color, not white or gray. It also “shimmers.” Imagining all kinds of things, the girl runs up to the cabin where her mother is loading up the car. Instead of being afraid of the strange cloud, Jilly’s mother rushes down towards the beach.

In the woods Jilly and her mother see an orange Baltimore Oriole, and an orange kite, but no orange cloud. What did Jilly see on the beach and where is it now?

In this remarkable book, Sandra Markle’s lyrical text is paired with gorgeous paintings to give young readers a singular picture book experience. The author perfectly captures the sense of wonder that Jilly experiences when she finally understands what the orange cloud is, and we can celebrate the fact that she got to share this amazing moment with her mother.

At the back of the book, the author provides her readers with further information about the animals that make up Jilly’s orange cloud.