CM . . . . Volume XIX Number 25 . . . . March 1, 2013
Apples and Butterflies is a poem/story about a family's and, in particular, a young girl's experience of autumn at their home of Prince Edward Island. The author, Shauntay Grant, makes readers want to go to the location of the story and experience it for themselves. The beauty of the story, though, is that it seems to take place anywhere the sun shines, the water flows against the shore, and the sand runs through your fingers. Grant was the Poet Laureate for Halifax in 2009-10, and her writing skills are evident in the text which reads as both poetry and story, something which good poetry should do. The imagery and language make the story come alive, and the title would be best read aloud for children to experience the pictures that the words express. There is frequent alliteration, and the words have been chosen carefully but roll effortlessly off the tongue.
Apples and Butterflies is also the perfect marriage of text and illustration. The words flow as the pictures flow across the page. I was frankly surprised to see a separate illustrator, Tamara Thiébaux Heikalo, as the illustrator so perfectly mirrored the text of the story. Each illustration is a full page spread, bright and colourful, and capable of standing on its own as artwork.
This title would be an excellent book for preschool and primary teachers to use in their fall units, but it could also be used to illustrate imagery, alliteration, Prince Edward Island, and any number of concepts. At its best, though, it should be read as the beautiful poem that it is, with an appreciation for the artwork within.
Jill Griffith is the Youth Services Manager at Red Deer Public Library in Red Deer, AB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.