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Lisa, who is dying of cancer, meets a talking caterpillar, which she names Sonya. The two confide in each other: the girl has had a friend die of cancer, and she is afraid; and Sonya is apprehensive about the changes she will soon undergo. When Lisa enters the hospital, her father brings her a milkweed plant--with Sonya on a leaf. As Lisa watches, Sonya becomes a chrysalis and is "all wrapped up in her turquoise and silver world of would-be dreams." Such flowery language aside, this affecting story will comfort youngsters who are terminally ill or who know someone who is. Some children will be perplexed by the ending: when Lisa dies, she rises above her bed and flies away on the wings of Sonya, now a butterfly. The questions this may bring on, as well as the book's unusually small print, make this a better choice for a read-aloud than a read-alone. Haight's naturalistic pictures, though not particularly memorable, add color--and emotion--to this sad but ultimately uplifting tale. Ages 6-11.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Grade 1-3-- Lisa, who has cancer, is about to return to the hospital for more treatment when she finds a caterpillar who talks to her, and whom she names Sonya. Lisa's father pots the plant to which Sonya clings so that the child can have it by her bedside. As her condition deteriorates, she and the insect discuss the changes Sonya will undergo as she transforms herself into a Monarch butterfly; as Sonya emerges from her cocoon, Lisa dies. In an out-of-body state, she then leaves her grieving parents and friends and soars to join the swarm of migrating butterflies. The basic premise of a child identifying with the butterfly, long a symbol of hope and resurrection, is not original, but a sense of tenderness suffuses the text, making it a gently effective instrument of bibliotherapy. The bright warmth of the large, realistic watercolors helps to show that Lisa's life has many happy moments despite her illness. The very small print really doesn't matter, as the book would undoubtedly be used interactively with adults. --Patricia Pearl Dole, formerly at First Presbyterian School, Martinsville, VA
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.