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Butterfly Seeds, The Hardcover – August 22, 1995

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3?As his family prepares to leave their homeland for America, Jake is heartsick over the impending separation from his grandfather. In parting, Grandpa gives the boy a box containing butterfly seeds: "Just plant them in your new garden, and, like magic, you'll have hundreds of butterflies." After the long sea voyage, the family arrives at Ellis Island, and then makes their way to their new home?two rooms on the third floor of a crowded tenement. With the help of an Italian fruit vendor, a Chinese fish peddler, and an Irish blacksmith, Jake builds a windowbox garden, and is eventually rewarded with a harvest of butterflies. Watson effectively relates the simple yet affecting tale of a child's separation from his old home and beloved relative. Her fully bled paintings are vibrant and lovely. Each double-page spread is expertly composed to reveal a dramatic land, sea, or cityscape, and the carefully rendered characters are particularly expressive. Elisa Bartone's Peppe the Lamplighter (Lothrop, 1993) and Riki Levinson's Watch the Stars Come Out (Dutton, 1985) have stronger story lines, but this heartfelt and appealing title merits consideration.?Marilyn Taniguchi, Santa Monica Public Library, CA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ages 5^-9. When Jake and his family emigrate to America, he is sad to leave his grandfather behind, but Grandpa gives Jake some "magic" butterfly seeds to plant in the new country and to remember him by. Watson's realistic double-spread paintings are as upbeat as the story, showing the journey by boat, the arrival at Ellis Island, and the hardworking immigrant community in turn-of-the-century New York. With the help of the people around him, Jake plants his seeds in a window box, and one day masses of butterflies flock to the plants in the box. From Jake's tenement window, he looks out on narrow, crowded streets. The alleys are dark, but individual faces, like Jake's, are lit with hope and friendship. Hazel Rochman

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1st edition (August 22, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688141323
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688141325
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,040,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The words maybe of a childrens book but the paintings are great for all to enjoy. I actually was a friend of Mary's, my Dad and I. The pictures truly catch the essence of the people who posed for them! The pictures were painted of real people including many that I know! It is an beautiful book no matter how you look at it.
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Format: Hardcover
We spoke to the author after hearing the book read on a children's TV show early one morning. My mom said the painting of the green grocer actually looked like my grandfather who passed away in 1949 before I was born. It gave us great pride in our family. The book captures the age before readily available voice technology. Those immigrants could not reach back to their loved ones without using very slow mail. How difficult that must have been.
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Format: Hardcover
Absolutely love this book, but for personal reasons, it in part is about my Great Grandfather, Juan Garguilo...
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