Saving the Butterfly by Helen Cooper and Gill Smith

Saving the Butterfly New Release

Saving the Butterfly is a new release from February this year and a poignant book right now when we need to be opening our arms to support those in need. The book is beautifully illustrated and you could be fooled into thinking this book could be on a very different subject matter if it wasn’t for darkness enveloping the top left corner of the book and that wire.

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Saving the Butterfly Synopsis

Saving the Butterfly gives a simplified look at a brother and sister displaced and being refugees. The little boy is young and finding it easier to move forward but the older sister remembers and finds it difficult to emerge from the shroud of darkness she feels is swallowing her.


I’ve read a mixture of reviews on Saving the Butterfly. One review was how the plight, horrors and challenges of what refugees face is over simplified in this book. For me I see the book as a small opening into a world that the majority of our children are very sheltered from, yet giving opportunity for children to discuss their thoughts and feelings in response to the text at their level.

Boy happy on a tyre swingBoy being rescued from the seaBoy with butterfly in jarBoy and girl in bed - the girl is worried

One of my fellow Toppsta reviewers wrote a great review about how this book leaves you with lots of questions rather than answers. I totally agree, the big question for me was where have they come from. You can see the full review here. Thought provoking reading material for both children and adults.

Challenging Subject Matter

Writing for children, especially for young children, is incredibly challenging when dealing with complex issues. Does this book go into depth on refugees, no. Does this book open up opportunities for children to discuss their thoughts and feelings related to their experience of what they have witnessed, seen or heard, absolutely.

Saving the Butterfly Teacher Notes

The publishers, Walker, have developed comprehensive teacher notes to go alongside this book. Even if you don’t plan on using everything from them I think they are an important read for parents and educators on helping to unpick the book further. You can find the teacher notes here.

A Note

If this is a book being read in schools then it would be important to understand your audience and the lived experiences of the listener or their family and friends.

We won this book as part of a Toppsta giveaway. If you haven’t discovered Toppsta yet you really must. You can set up your own profile and enter giveaways to be able to win books and leave a review. Head to my Toppsta profile here and you can find more information on the website.

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