Already a Butterfly is a gentle picture book tale about self-soothing practices and self-confidence beliefs.
With so much to do in so little time, Mari is constantly on the move, flitting from flower to flower, practicing her camouflage poses, and planning for migration. She’s the busiest butterfly around. But does being productive mean she is happy? Mari couldn’t say. The only way she feels like a butterfly is by acting like one. Little does Mari know, the secret to feeling like herself is simply to focus her breath, find her quiet place, and follow her instincts. With the guidance of a thoughtful flower bud, Mari soon learns to meditate and appreciate that she was a butterfly all along.
Acclaimed author Julia Alvarez extolls the importance of mindfulness, reflection, and self-care for young children in this gratifying picture book, stunningly illustrated by award-winning artist Raúl Colón.
Christy Ottaviano Books
Mari, the butterfly of the title, is a dazzling creature, a brown-skinned fairylike girl whose resplendent blue wings allow her to soar. But between exercises and work to "pollinate the whole field, she can't find time to slow herself or rest. "You just have to learn a way to get rid of the hurry and worry that keep you from knowing who you really are," Bud tells her. He's a fat lily bud whose beaklike smile and friendly eyes make him an engaging guru. He invites Mari to remember a time when she was still in her chrysalis, "all soft and warm," then coaches her to breathe: "Breathing in, you are a butterfly. Breathing out, you feel happy." Mari stretches out her human arms, then launches into joyful flight not doing, just being. Alvarez (Return to Sender) pens this introduction to meditation with advisory zeal, focusing on explanations that will appeal to caretakers who seek to support young meditation practitioners. Jewel-toned spreads by Col n (Imagine!) provide scope for dreaming: Mari's distinctive features her black braids, her elflike shoes, her golden crown give readers a fantasy heroine to linger over. An afterword provides information about the story's origin. Ages 5 9. \n