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I Wish I Were a Butterfly
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I Wish I Were a Butterfly

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  142 ratings  ·  30 reviews
The littlest cricket of Swampswallow Pond is convinced only by the Wise Old One that being special has nothing to do with physical metamorphosis, flashy colors, or shimmering wings. “The cricket is every child who stopped the music because someone criticized casually, thoughtlessly. It takes a wise friend to bring the music back.”--School Library Journal
Paperback, 40 pages
Published February 28th 1994 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published February 28th 1987)
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Community Reviews

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This is a beautiful book about self-acceptance and self-love. Ed Young's pastel illustrations are gorgeous: dark and subdued in some places, and suffused with vibrant color in others with a richness throughout. After a frog tells him he is ugly, a cricket wishes to be a butterfly. A glowworm, ladybug and dragonfly tell him to ignore the frog, that appearance is not important, but the cricket sees them as beautiful and feels that they cannot understand. It is the spider who helps him to see himse ...more
Christopher Clark
A little cricket moans and groans about how ugly he is. He is so upset that he cannot make music. The frog living at the edge of the pond has told him he is ugly and he moans to everyone that he wishes he were a beautiful butterfly. The other insects try to comfort him, but he whines how easy it is for them being beautiful. Finally, his old friend the spider is able to make him realize that he is beautiful in his own way, and he is finally able to make beautiful music again.

I Wish I Were A Butte
no matter how many times I read it I still love it!!!
The brilliant illustrations of Caldecott Medal winner Ed Young shine forth from these pages in glimmering resplendence, framing the beautiful words of James Howe in ways that border upon perfection.
"I Wish I Were a Butterfly" is a gorgeous story that will reverberate deep within the heart of any reader who feels less than special for any reason at all. The coarse words of the frog and the wisdom of Old One, the most winsome spider in literature since Charlotte, contrast and ripple apart from e
Great articulation of a very common wish or desire to not be who we are. Ed Young is a master at giving a story it's visual presence, which he capably does again here.
Hannah Givens
Good story, especially for kids who like bugs. Maybe for kids who don't like bugs it would be a good way to alleviate that situation.
Ashley Wampler
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marta Rodriguez
The style of writing was very nice....the point definitely gets across.
Who hasn't lamented that they weren't something or someone else? In this story, a cricket wishes it was a butterfly, believing butterflies to be the most beautiful creatures. It takes a wise old spider to show the cricket its true beauty, and in a twist a butterfly wishes it were a cricket after hearing the creature's beautiful music.

Pastel illustrations do a great job of putting readers at insect level and of capturing the passage of light.

Overall, a beautiful story that readers can not only
Caroline Petty
This is one of those books that makes me very emotional because of the beauty of the words. It's written in such a profound way that it causes a need for accomplishment and self improvement. It is a book that really enables children to feel the words that are written. It is a perfect story to teach children that we all have unique abilities and special things in our own lives that allow us to be valuable people. Instead of feeling remorse at what we do not have, we should feel pride for everythi ...more
Megan Goss
I really liked the illustrations because of the color and the soft painted lines. The illustrations are all full bleed, 2 page spreads. The book deals with the issue of identity and being insecure. The cricket thinks he is ugly and wants to be a butterfly ,but no matter what other bugs say, he still isn't happy with who he is. Only until he talks to the Old One does he start believing that true beauty comes from within.
Breana Vining
This story is about a cricket who wishes to be a butterfly because he thinks he is ugly. He goes on a journey and expresses his desire of this to other animals/insects. He meets a butterfly who wishes that she were a cricket...he feels much better about himself-this is a story that inspires all to not only fing the good things in others, but take a minute to find the good qualities within yourself.
The littlest cricket of Swampswallow Pond is convinced only by the Wise Old One that being special has nothing to do with physical metamorphosis, flashy colors, or shimmering wings. “The cricket is every child who stopped the music because someone criticized casually, thoughtlessly. It takes a wise friend to bring the music back.”--School Library Journal
Alma Loredo
This book can really help a child build their self-esteem. Children are always teased and some believe what others say. This book helps us realize that we are perfect just the way we are and if we were to change into something else we would not be happy because we are already happy the way we are but we do not always notice it.
Read to my kids. The 9 year old got it. Great message.
genre - picture book

topic and theme - cricket wants to be a butterfly

Curricula use - guided reading 2nd or 3rd grade

Social - self-image, friendship

Literary elements - imagery, personification

text and pictures - text is interconnected with pictures
This book would be a good book to discuss theme. The overall theme is to love who you are and have good self esteem. Also, it addresses lots of different types of insects--so tying it into science could be possible as well.
Sandra Vicars
A beautiful story about a cricket who thinks himself ugly and his quest to become a butterfly. He encounters many beautiful creatures that help him realize that he is quite special. Be the best you can be!
This book is amazing! It has beautiful illustrations and a beautiful message! This book has a deep and inspiring meaning that should be shared with adults and children of all ages.
I just love this little book. It has such a good message - kind of on the longer side for tiny ones, but the message comes across so well. Very well done.
Audrey Harlan
I liked this book. Its a great read for students because it talks about self image and loving who you are even when its hard.
This is a beautiful book about learning to accept yourself for who you are and what you have to offer.
Monique Mcdonald
A book that teaches one about self esteem, great for kids who struggle with this self esteem.
I like the way that this book deals with beauty and self-image - a lovely book!
I would use this book for sequencing. It is also good to build self confidence.
A patron recommended this one to me this afternoon. i love when that happens.
Ann Williams
Great lessons here, an oldie but goodie. The possibilities are endless1
Dec 07, 2010 Tania added it
Shelves: self-confidence
Good book to use to help build self-esteem.
Sep 10, 2012 Danet added it
butterfly unit book
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

James Howe has written more than eighty books in the thirty-plus years he's been writing for young readers. It sometimes confuses people that the author of the humorous Bunnicula series also wrote the dark young adult novel, The Watcher, or such beginning reader series as Pi
More about James Howe...

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“Why, if I were to believe what everyone says about me, I would think myself quite, quite ugly. But I don't believe everyone, you see...I believe you because you are my friend. You think I'm beautiful, and so I am.

—The Old One”
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