Author:  Schim Schimmel
Publisher:  SchimmelSmith Publishing
ISBN: 10: 0615295096 :  ISBN: 13: 978-0615295091

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The Butterfly's Treasure by Schim Schimmel is one of the most beautiful, awe-inspiring books I have ever seen. The vibrant colors on the cover alone inspire dreams of far-away places. Each turn of the page reveals another jaw-dropping, inspirational view of some of the world's most majestic creatures and places. As I read this book to my class of 3-6 year-olds, I was moved by their exclamations as they saw each painting.

The story itself is just as inspiring as the artwork. Young Caterpillar is the last of this season's monarchs. He meets Old Monarch, who is the last of last season's monarchs. Old Monarch wishes to impart his wisdom upon the young caterpillar, and proceeds to tell him of his travels around the world over the last year to find treasure. Old Monarch encounters some of the greatest creatures around the world, including brown bears, polar bears, seals, elephants, lions, gorillas, tigers, snow leopards, penguins, dolphins, and wolves. He finds them in the most beautiful locations around the world. Young Caterpillar realizes that the whole world is a treasure to cherish, and after becoming an adult monarch, sets off to seek it for himself.

Following the reading of the story, I went around the circle and asked the children to tell me what some treasures were. A few mentioned jewels and pirate's gold. But even at their young ages, most were able to identify that animals, people, and nature were things to be treasured. This is testimony that Schim Schimmel's message is easily conveyed to even the youngest reader.

Schim Schimmel is the artist/author for three other books that have garnered international attention for their artistry and message: Dear Children of the Earth -- A Letter From Home, Children of the Earth...Remember, and The Family of the Earth. All of these titles are perenniel favorites in my classroom and those of my colleagues. The Butterfly's Treasure will earn a place of honor next to them on the shelf. I'm already eagerly anticipating his next work!

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