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Farfallina & Marcel Paperback – May 10, 2005


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 4
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books; Reprint edition (May 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064438724
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064438728
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.9 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 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 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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It teaches us that even through natural changes in life we can remain friends.
Jill
The combination of the wonderful text and well executed illustrations make for one very mellow read that always pleases the wee ones.
D. Blankenship
She weaves the story of everlasting friendship that we all long for and cherish in a charming and simple way.
Matthew McCann

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Matthew McCann on July 2, 2003
Format: Library Binding
Holly Keller's story of growing up and changing is a fantastic story wrapped in beautiful watercolor illustrations. She weaves the story of everlasting friendship that we all long for and cherish in a charming and simple way. Keller's accomplishments include more than 30 books that she has written with "as many illustrated (that were) written by other people." It's easy to see why she has accomplished so much. I love this book.
Keller's story opens with little Farfallina, a caterpillar, munching on a leaf during a gentle spring rain. Her munching disturbs a handsome gosling that quickly befriends the caterpillar. Despite the fact that they make an unlikely pair, they become the warmest of friends. Their friendship is rocked by separation however when one day Farfallina must rest. For weeks she is gone and Marcel realizes that he must grow up without her. A happy reunion finds them still fast friends despite the growth and change each has had to face.
The illustrations in this book are fantastic. Kellers use of watercolors, is alive with bold vibrant colors that capture the attention of any reader. Her pictures are incredibly cute and resemble the sweet friendship Marcel and Farfallina share. Keller's illustrations encourage readers to peruse each page liesurely. I have always loved finding hidden pictures, and although Keller does not necessarily intend this, children can look for Farfallina's cocoon in the tree tops or note the changes in Marcel's feathers. Without the pictures, the story wouldn't be the same.
I look forward to sharing this book with little ones during story time at the public library. Allowing the children the opportunity to visualize the colorful pictures as this heartwarming story is told will truly be a pleasure. I hope that they enjoy the story as much as I have. I've added it to my wish list and look forward to giving a second copy to my nieces.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David L. Lewis on November 20, 2002
Format: Library Binding
I teach a class of 3 to 5 year olds and I found this book as a
supplement to my "Growing" unit. My class sat so still (I didn't know they could sit so still!) and it gave me the opportunity to launch into my "growing" unit! Fabulous book, beautiful pictures, gently touches upon growing and changing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David L. Lewis on November 22, 2002
Format: Library Binding
I used this with my class (3-5 year olds) and they sat so still, they really loved the book. The story is heartwarming and the illustrations make you love the characters.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Lovely story and pictures. The author has made such a wonderfully reassuring book for children. And it's funny! It's our new bedtime reading requirement.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I came across this gentle book while shopping for gifts for my daughter's 6th birthday. This is a book about friendship and that is a very important subject to kindergarteners. I felt the author approached the subject in a beautiful and touching way, showing how friendship can endure through the many changes that life will bring. I can't wait to read the book to my daughter. I plan on buying more copies to give to my friends, too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By 20-Word Reviews on November 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This wonderful, gentle story is a perfect end to a busy day. Our two ball-of-energy boys gladly climb into our laps at bedtime for another rereading of "Farfallina and Marcel." It's one of my husband's favorite bedtime stories to read aloud, and it always gives us all a warm, snuggly feeling (very conducive to quickly falling asleep!). This tale of enduring friendship and loyalty is enhanced by Keller's precise, yet accessible prose and the quiet beauty of her watercolor illustrations. Everyone from Papa to our kitties enjoys curling up on the bed together for this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jill on February 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Farfallina and Marcel is a true story of friendship. It teaches us that even through natural changes in life we can remain friends. This is a favorite story of my 4 year old son who likes to hear it over and over again. The water color pictures are beautiful and add a soft warm feeling to the book. I believe it's message is timeless and we will enjoy reading it to our children for years to come.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on March 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Wow...what a wonderfully mellow book. You will find no "flash-bang" here, no exciting chases, and no dazzling innovating art work, nor will you find a deeply hidden message lurking in the disguise of a story. No, what you have here is a very simple sweet tale of friendship; a lasting friendship which endures despite the inevitable changes in life. There is a strong message here indeed, but it is told is such a way that the meaning is beyond question.

A caterpillar is eating a leaf one day during a gentle rain, a leaf which happens to be the temporary umbrella of a small gray bird. The caterpillar, Farfalina and the young bird, Marcel become close and fast friends. They play games, go places together and they talk. This goes on until one day Farfallina "feels strange" and climbs to the top of a tree for a "rest." Time passes. Marcell cannot find his friend and does not know where she has gone. Time passes.

Of course you can imagine the rest of the story. When the two friends finally meet again weeks later, Farfallina is no longer a caterpillar but rather a beautiful butterfly and Marcel is no longer a little gray bird but has been transformed in to a magnificent grey goose. Will there friendship remain? Will they recognize each other? Will the rather dramatic changes in their physical appearance alter their feelings for each other?

Holly Keller is one of the "top guns" of children's literature and there are reasons for this...she is good at what she does and she deserves it! There is something absolutely mesmerizing and almost hypnotic to her prose which can absolutely settle a room full of kids (3 to 5 years old) down with the reading of the first page. They are absolutely transfixed throughout the reading.
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