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Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly by…
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Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly (2007)

by Alan Madison

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Velma is a little girl who wants to stand out to her teachers. She is living in the light of her two older sisters who have already impressed her teachers. Velma discovers the lesson about being who you are and being recognized for doing good.

Good science about a caterpillars metamorphosis into a butterfly as well.

The illustrations are fun too. Velma is a unique little gal and she is well depicted by the illustrator. The inside font and back covers show illustrations of caterpillars and butterflies (although they don't match up so you can compare before and after)(similar to An Egg is Quite and a Seed is Sleepy) ( )
  dms02 | Feb 27, 2014 |
The main idea throughout the book is individualism. Throughout the story Velma is striving to be remembered by her teacher just like her older sisters were. Velma felt as though she did not belong in 1st grade because she was no special enough. This story is very relatable for young children who look up and are striving to be like their older siblings. I really enjoyed this book because the story is very original. I enjoyed the small alliterations throughout the story such as " weightless and wondrous" which just made it fun and easy to read. The book also introduces great vocabulary words such as migration, metamorphosis, and conservatory. Along with the interesting story were huge and colorful illustrations, which added to lengthy pages. ( )
  mderob1 | Feb 26, 2014 |
Great and friendly book that sends a positive, clear message. The charcoal art is bright, detailed, and stylized and often spreads both pages making for some huge pictures. Definitely a great book for kids with older siblings because the story is about a younger sibling living in her older siblings' shadows. The butterfly/metamorphosis metaphor is a good angle for teaching the importance of individuality. Some surprisingly clever language throughout. Keep this one in mind! ( )
  nbabyak | Jan 26, 2014 |
First-grader Velma Gratch longs for a way to distinguish herself, and step out from the shadow cast by her two elder sisters, Frieda and Fiona. With teachers that still speak of Frieda's beautiful singing and Fiona's swift running, not to mention their talent for math and spelling, how can Velma demonstrate that she too is special? The answer comes during a class trip to the butterfly conservatory, where Velma has an enchanted encounter that no one will ever forget...

I "found" this book some time ago for a fellow reader who belongs to the children's literature group I moderate, and have been meaning to return to it ever since. Ideal for young butterfly enthusiasts, Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly also addresses the emotional world of younger siblings, who often feel overshadowed by their older brothers and sisters. Kevin Hawkes, whose work I have encountered before in the fantasy novels of Eva Ibbotson, here delivers illustrations that are whimsical and expressive, enhancing the appeal of Madison's tale. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jul 11, 2013 |
It won the Lupine Award last year, and I hope it wins the Chickadee Award this year. One of my favorite picture books.

It didn't win. It lost to another book. Nominated 2008-2009. ( )
  scote23 | Mar 30, 2013 |
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To Lena, who, in my eyes, always has a butterfly on her finger. And to those most gracious Gratch girls, especially Barbara, Laura, and Mina, for their constant inspiration. -- A.M.
To Karen Carlson, Queen of Metamorphosis. And special thanks to Winston Barton. -- K.H.
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Velma Gratch was the youngest of the three Gratch sisters.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375835970, Hardcover)

This School Library Journal Best Book of the Year celebrates everything butterfly, from migration to metamorphosis! It's hard to be Velma entering first grade. That's because everyone has marvelous memories of her two older sisters, who were practically perfect first graders, and no one even notices Velma. But all that changes on a class trip to the butterfly conservatory, a place neither of her sisters has been. When a monarch roosts on Velma's finger and won't budge for days—no one will ever forget it . . . or her! Kids will love reading about Velma's own transformation in this perfect addition to any science curriculum.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:00 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Velma starts first grade in the shadow of her memorable older sisters, and while her newfound interest in butterflies helps her to stand out, it also leads to an interesting complication.

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