The introduction of this book by the author says she wrote it after dealing with her young daughter being diagnosed with cancer. The moral of the book that the author wanted to portray by writing this story is that “we are all equally beautiful, important, and here for a very important reason” and she hopes that children and families braving the illness of a loved one can find solace in this book.
The illustrations, done by a 17 year-old, are marvelous. I wish there were more of them in the book than there are! They’re very nicely done.
Willow is the main character. Willow is a butterfly. This book anthropomorphizes animals, meaning animals think, act, and feel like humans. I personally am not a big fan of anthropomorphic stories, but I do like the message that the author intends for this book to portray.
Willow is a bit of an uppity character, thinking she is so very important because she is the only butterfly of her type on the mountain. She thinks she is special. Her friends are tired of her uppity attitude, accusing her of sitting around and preening and looking at her reflection all day. Skipper and Percy are two animals who are her friends, one of whom really likes Willow and the other one is a bit jealous that Willow will steal his friend away. One day a great owl comes to find Skipper, who is a skunk, and summon him to a special meeting to discuss something important, but Skipper hides and is scared of the owl. Willow boldly introduces herself to the owl and is summoned to the meeting instead of Skipper. Skipper never knew he was the one who was going to be invited. The catastrophe that they discuss is a fire. The controlled burn is described in such a way as to make it sound like a bad thing, and I didn’t like this at all because controlled burns are necessary and vital for a healthy forest. I am not thrilled that this book portrays burns in a negative light. The animals come up with a plan to scare the humans into leaving so that maybe they won’t burn the forest. They decided to terrorize them at their campsite.
I won’t spoil the ending, but suffice it to say that I was disappointed in the anthropomorphic animals and their attitude towards a controlled burn. The underlying message of everyone being important and having an important role to fulfil in life was there and readers should be able to pick up on it. I was too taken aback by the actions of the animals to really enjoy the message though.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for writing a review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.