Perfect Picture Book Friday! Butterflies Keep Flying by Ali Pfautz

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a book with a nice hidden lesson on accepting others.

butterflyButterflies Keep Flying
Written by Ali Pfautz
Illustrated by Sara Grier
44 pages – ages 5+
Published by Artistic Endeavors Press on March 29, 2016

Theme/Topic- Realizing/finding your inner strength / accepting others

Genre- Realistic Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “Sometimes I imagine I’m an elephant…

…with a huge body that shakes the houses in my neighborhood as I walk to school.”

Synopsis:  Sometimes, the gentle butterfly imagines what it might be like to be other creatures–big, strong, loud animals–those without fragile wings. Those who don’t have to fly. But when she stops daydreaming and starts thinking about how her wings carry her through life’s challenges, the butterfly reminds herself of the great strength within her colorful, breakable wings.  

This tender story was inspired by the courageous spirit and tenacity of the “butterfly children,” the boys and girls battling a rare disease known as Epidermolysis Bullosa, or EB. Children with EB have skin as delicate as butterfly wings. They often have tears and blisters all over their bodies. Many live in constant pain, yet they get up each day and keep flying. In the back of BUTTERFLIES KEEP FLYING, the author lists information about EB and a nonprofit group serving EB families called debra of America. (

What I Thought- This is a really sweet story about how sometimes being delicate can create strength you didn’t know you had. The butterfly is easily hurt and damaged, but it must fly, or else its position gets worse. The book is very symbolic, but is a great way to teach kids about what it is like to have to keep going on, similar to what those with EB must do. The illustrations are gorgeous, and full of color. The words are written in such a way that they bounce across the page, bringing the story to life.

Activities and Resources- To find out more about EB, go HERE (The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne and HERE (

For ideas on how to teach others acceptance go HERE ( and HERE (

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Categories: Age 1-5, Perfect Picture Book Friday

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9 replies

  1. Perfect choice for the season.

  2. Wow, this is a very beautiful book. Love the cover and the message the story brings. We need more books like this one. Thanks for sharing Erik. Enjoy your summer break.

  3. Love this book pick! Great review!

  4. Wonderful story. I understand living with constant pain and other medical issues, so I love it when these issues–which affect kids–are told in a way in which other children can understand and empathize with the affected children. Difficult books to write correctly. Sounds like this book is a winner Nice review, Erik.

  5. This book hits all the right notes as the perfect picture book to teach young children about empathy, courage, and believing in who you are.

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