The Butterflies Come
Leo Politi ~ Charles Scribner's Sons, 1957
I love how Leo wrote about nature and history in his picture books. Always tying a fictional story back to the real world. Since I was a little girl, I've wanted to see the monarch migration. Someday, perhaps. But for now, I have to be contented sharing this special little story with my son.
Stephen and Lucia lived on the Monterrey Peninsula by the blue Pacific Ocean. On sunny days they like to go down and play by the sea. On stormy days, safe indoors, they liked to watch the angry waves rise and splash against the rocks. When the storm was over, they wondered at the beautiful rainbow arching across the sky.
Always in play with the natural world around them, Stephen and Lucia stand in awe as they see a strange cloud coming over the bay.
As it came nearer they could see it was a cloud of thousands of orange butterflies glittering in the sunlight. As they passed overhead, Stephen and Lucia could hear the faint rustling sound of countless wings.
Deep in the forest the two go to see the butterflies rest in the trees, and we learn of the annual Butterfly Festival to celebrate the winged arrivals. Lucia has countless animal friends she visits in the woods, and the two are so kind to the butterflies, I suppose we were all born so gentle of heart. It might be naive, idyllic thinking, but the tone of the words and drawings are so peaceful, it makes me wish more children had the chance to know the forest in this way. Really, children and nature were two things born to go together.
Song of the Swallows
Three Stalks of Corn