Butterflies On The First Day Of School (Annie Silvestro)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Butterflies On The First Day Of School, written by Annie Silvestro and illustrated by Dream Chen, a charming tale of back-to-school jitters.

Rosie is utterly eager for her first day of school: she’s practiced writing her name and raising her hand, picked out her first backpack, and learned her teacher’s name. But on the eve of the big day, she suddenly feels uneasy, and the morning of, she seems to be looking for any excuse to stay home. Her mother simply hugs her: “You just have butterflies in your belly,” she explains. Boarding the school bus and approached by a friendly girl named Violet, Rosie offers her name – and is stunned to see a butterfly slip out of her mouth with the word! Indeed, each time Rosie opens up and talks to a new classmate or her teacher, butterflies – which only she can see – flit out of her mouth and escape into the sky. And with each butterfly fluttering off, Rosie’s confidence begins to grow, and new friendships and experiences are forged; she even finds the courage to help another shy little girl with butterflies of her own.

Wonderful. Updating the classic “butterflies” metaphor, the warm and gentle story gives a clever analogy for its remedy: opening up to others to let the butterflies out. Rosie’s trepidation and eventual ease into comfort and confidence feel incredibly universal, and the moment of helping another to come out of their shell encourages empathy and kindness. There’s even a subtle and touching moment at the end hinting that even grown-ups can get butterflies, especially on their little ones’ first day of school. Chen’s stylized illustrations are gorgeous, filled with color, movement, and emotion, and fit the tone of the story to a T. The length was great, and JJ loved the butterflies and expressive artwork. This will be a perfect story to help little bookworms concur their fears, especially come August. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)