#PictureBook Review: Butterfly Park by Elly MacKay

#PictureBook Review: Butterfly Park by Elly MacKay

Butterfly ParkButterfly Park by Elly MacKay

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Publisher: Running Press Kids

2015

picture book

A little girl and her family move from the country to the city and she dearly misses watching butterflies. But next to her home is a park called Butterfly Park. Only, there aren’t ever any butterflies. She tries to figure out why and seeks help from her neighbors. They all follow a butterfly that they see and eventually come to some flowers. She takes a bouquet of flowers to the park but still there are no butterflies. Her neighbors bring plants, dirt, and tools to help grow flowers so that they can fill the park with butterflies.

MacKay’s has provided gorgeous 3D photography illustrations that are delightful to pore over. There is a lovely four page pull-out spread showing all of the neighbors working together planting flowers in the park. Unfortunately, the story falls flat. I get that there is a find-your-new-roots element going on, but it doesn’t gel well. It just feels like so much care went into creating these beautiful images, but not into the story. And that four page spread, while lovely, creates a confusing flow of text. My final complaint is that the children are chasing and catching butterflies with a net. I know that a butterfly net is a thing but, as a parent, I cringe when I see this sort of thing in a picture book that I feel I need to include a little side note as I am reading such as, “We really shouldn’t catch butterflies because they are so delicate.” and “I wouldn’t want someone chasing me with a net. Would you? It isn’t nice.”

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