Velma Gratch & the Way Cool Butterfly by Alan Madison

Published June 1, 2013 by Dagmar

the way cool butterflyVelma is in first grade.  Unfortunately, Velma is the third of the Gratch sisters.  Even more unfortunately, both of Velma’s older sisters were incredibly memorable.  They were perfect.  Velma is constantly reminded of how wonderful her sisters were while no one seems to remember her name.  Velma decides she wants to be remembered, too.

When Velma’s class goes on a field trip to the butterfly conservatory, Velma finds out that her sisters never went there.  Velma waits and waits for something memorable to happen to her at the conservatory.  Then, something does.  A beautiful monarch butterfly lands on her finger…and stays there.  The butterfly stays and stays on Velma’s finger long after they’ve left the conservatory.  Finally, Velma’s principal says, “no one will forget this.”  Velma realizes that monarch needs to start its “my-gray-sun”.  Velma knows just how to make the monarch leave her finger and takes her monarch to the park.

This book drew applause from my second graders.  It’s a great story about rooting for the underdog.  The illustrations by Kevin Hawkes are really nice.  This was chosen as a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year.

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