Davol, Marguerite W. Why Butterflies go by on Silent Wings. Illustrated by Rob Roth. Orchard, 2001. ISBN 0-53-133322-1. $16.95. 32 pp. A 1-4 PB Reviewed by Devi Chitrapu This is a story about the world when it was young. The young world, particularly the parts that lie between the Mountains of Mist and the Singular Sea, is very noisy. The forests and fields are filled with the roars and hoots of animals such as hyenas, lions, and elephants; the earth shakes under the thundering hooves of wild beasts. Even the smallest creatures, like butterflies, contribute to the overall noise. The butterflies constantly argue among themselves, making a loud and most annoying sound with their squeaky voices. The din and bustle continue until, one day, a storm makes so much noise that the whole world trembles. The butterflies are tossed into the mud, and for several minutes, nothing stirs. In the quiet following the storm, the butterflies realize that they are all different colors. Pleased with the transformation that the storm has brought about, they stop bragging and making noise. All the animals enjoy the beauty of rainbow colors and the peace of silence. Why Butterflies go by on Silent Wings is an interesting, thought-provoking book for children who are curious about the why and how of things. Roth, who has illustrated several children’s books, makes the story more interesting with his vibrant, animated pictures.
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