Written by: Alan Madison
Illustrated by: Kevin Hawkes
Published in 2007
Genre: Picture Book
Grade Level: K-3
Summary: Velma Gratch is the youngest of three sisters and has just started the first grade. All the teachers remember her sisters for all the great things they did, but no one seems to pay any attention to Velma. When her class starts to learn about butterflies, Velma is very interested and learns all she can about them. During a visit to the butterfly conservatory, a monarch butterfly climbs onto Velma’s finger and won’t let go. The butterfly sticks around for a few days, until it finally leaves with its friends to migrate south. Everyone from Velma’s school thinks this is “way cool” and Velma is happy to finally have something of her own to be recognized and remembered for.
I was surprised that I really liked this book. I have always hated anything to do with bugs (even butterflies) so I didn’t expect to really enjoy the book. I was, however, completely wrong. This book was awesome! The story was great and the illustrations were really pretty.
I really loved the little bits of information about butterflies that the author included. It made the book both educational and enjoyable. This would be great book to read during a unit on butterflies.
I also really enjoyed the situation between Velma and her sisters. Sibling rivalry in school is something that a lot of kids can relate to, and this book encourages children to find things that they are interested in and good at. It’s a very uplifting and enjoyable story.
Final Thoughts: All in all, I thought this was a great book. The illustrations were beautiful and it contained some fun facts about butterflies. I would love to have this book in my classroom someday, to be used as a read aloud and to have in the classroom library for children to look at.
I give Velma Gratch & the Way Cool Butterfly five stars.