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Farfallina And Marcel


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About the Author

Holly Keller has illustrated a number of books in the Lets-Read-and-Find-Out Science series, including Be a Friend to Trees. She is also the author and illustrator of many picture books, including Island Baby and Horace. Ms. Keller lives in West Redding, Connecticut.


PreS-Gr 1-A gentle story about sustaining friendship in the face of change. One spring, a young gosling, Marcel, and a caterpillar, Farfallina, become close friends. Similar in temperament and considerate of one another's strengths and weaknesses, they like spending time together. One day, Farfallina feels very strange and she climbs a tree to rest. After weeks of patiently waiting for her return, Marcel realizes that he must go on without her. When the two meet again, they don't recognize one another at first: one has become a beautiful butterfly and the other an elegant goose. But they soon discover that, though they look different, they still are the best of friends. Watercolors in predominantly blue and green decorate the quiet tale, which includes an author's note on how caterpillars become butterflies. A lesson on metamorphosis, explained in a pleasurable manner.-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Keller (Cecil's Garden) introduces a caterpillar and gosling in a deceptively simple story of friendship and transformation. They meet in a rain shower one day: " `Hey,' said a little voice./ `You're eating my umbrella," says feathered Marcel as Farfallina (whose name means "little butterfly" in Italian) nibbles on a leaf over his head. With a minimum of text, Keller describes the charming friendship's beginnings. When they play hide-and-seek, Farfallina hides under a low fern "because she knew that Marcel couldn't climb." In turn, Marcel hides behind a nearby tree "because he knew that Farfallina moved slowly." A full-page full-bleed painting shows Farfallina riding on the gosling's back across a lily-pad-dotted pond. One day, the caterpillar announces that she needs to climb onto a tree branch and rest for a while, and her patient pal settles in the grass to wait for her. A series of paintings follows each friend's metamorphosis Marcel's change in plumage, Farfallina's emergence from her cocoon. Finally reunited, neither creature recognizes the other and again bond as friends nonetheless. When they realize each other's true identities, Keller conveys their joy with the pair's fluttering of wings, and their quiet repose in an eloquently serene spread as they fall asleep "smiling at the stars." Keller's ending remains true to both nature and friendship that lasts through the seasons in this perfectly paced book. Ages 4-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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