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Butterflies on the First Day of School
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About the Author

Annie Silvestro is the author of Mice Skating (Sterling) and Bunny's Book Club (Doubleday). She also works as a consultant in her family's finance business and serves on the board for Seas It, a cancer charity that promotes recovery through recreation. She is currently a Volunteer Coordinator for the New Jersey chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Annie resides in Rumson, NJ, with her husband and two sons. Learn more about her at anniesilvestro.com. Dream (Mengqian) Chen received her BFA in animation at Communication University of China and completed her MFA in visual art at the Minneapolis College of Arts and Design. She has experimented with photography, stop-motion animation, print making, illustration, paper making, and book making. See more of Dream's work at dreamchen.org.

Reviews

"Rosie has been looking forward to the first day of school for a month, practicing writing her letters and raising her hand. But the night before the big day, she begins to have second thoughts. 'I don't feel well, ' she says the next morning. 'You just have butterflies in your belly, ' her mother replies with a hug. And sure enough, when a girl on the school bus asks her name, a butterfly escapes from Rosie's mouth along with the answer. Rosie's trepidation about new experiences tugs on readers' hearts, but as the butterflies that only she can see are released every time she participates in class, her expressions grow more confident and joyful. Finally, Rosie uses her new confidence to help another classmate who looks like she has a belly full of butterflies as well. Colorful illustrations depict children of varying skin tones with surprisingly expressive round black eyes; Rosie and her family present subtly Asian. Young readers who are worried about school will find a reassuring way to put their feelings into words, and the warm ending gives a wink to caregivers who may also find themselves feeling nervous about the first day of school. Silvestro and Chen take a common figure of speech and transform it, literally, into a lovely expression of a universal experience." --Kirkus

"Silvestro (The Christmas Tree Who Loved Trains) puts a fanciful spin on a familiar metaphor in this tale about a girl who's impatient to start school. Rosie diligently practices classroom skills, including hand raising, but her confidence vanishes on her first day, and she insists she doesn't feel well. She's puzzled when her mother tells her she has butterflies in her stomach, but while chatting to a friendly girl on the school bus, Rosie finally understands when butterflies (seemingly visible only to her) flutter from her mouth. Throughout the morning, 'butterflies rumbled in Rosie's belly' and occasionally slip out, but by recess she feels fine and reaches out to a forlorn classmate standing alone--whose own butterflies escape. Animator Chen uses bold crayon hues to invigorate her renderings of Rosie's changeable emotions and to showcase a striking kaleidoscope of butterflies. A cheering first-day story." --Publishers Weekly

"What happens to all those butterflies in your stomach? Rosie is excited and ready for her first day of school. She picked out her backpack over a month ago, decorated it herself, and even practiced raising her hand at home. However, the night before the first day, she cannot sleep. The next morning her belly hurts and she cannot even eat her breakfast. Her mother reassures her, 'You just have butterflies in your belly' and hugs her tight. Once on the bus, she quickly makes a new friend, and a butterfly flies out while she's talking. Her new friend doesn't seem to notice, and as they continue to talk, more butterflies flutter out. Throughout the day, the butterflies, unnoticed by everyone else, fly out of her mouth. Rosie's belly begins to feel much better. At recess, she even helps a fellow student get a butterfly out of her belly by saying hello. Rosie's mom has a butterfly of her own fly out once she realizes that Rosie had a great first day. The mixed-media illustrations match the text well, and the bright colors fit the story's theme well. VERDICT A first purchase for back-to-school shelves that will reassure both students and caregivers." --School Library Journal (Starred review)

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