The Butterfly Dance by Suzanne Barton

The Butterfly Dance follows the relationship between two caterpillars who look very different to each other. But can they still have fun together once they have turned into different coloured butterflies?

The Butterfly DanceThe Story: Caterpillars Dotty and Stripe look different but they do everything together. After transforming into butterflies they discover that the blue butterflies stay together and so do the red ones. Sadly they say their goodbyes and join their respective butterfly groups. But then they discover that there is a wonderful place where they can spend time together…

We’re huge fans of Suzanne Barton’s books and her beautiful illustrations. The Butterfly Dance introduces children to the concept of caterpillars changing into butterflies but the story is predominately about the power of friendship. Dotty and Stripe have a wonderfully close relationship and despite everything they manage to find a way to spend time together even once they have become butterflies.

We aren’t only introduced to caterpillars and butterflies in The Butterfly Dance. Dotty and Stripe discover bluebells, poppies and thistles and meet other insects, this is a beautiful introduction to meadows and the wildlife that lives in them. My favourite illustration is a double page spread showing butterflies and other insects in the meadow, it’s also a great spread for counting different species or counting leaves or spots on ladybirds. My daughter loves looking at the the different patterns on the butterflies and she loves the dragonflies. The colours throughout the book are earthy and natural, they stand out on a predominantly cream background and perfectly complement the natural themes in the story.

The Butterfly Dance is a wonderful story to use in the classroom as part of a topic on mini beasts and talking about butterflies is a great way of introducing symmetry as part of the numeracy curriculum. An easy activity to show this is to fold a plain piece of paper in half and paint one half of a butterfly on one side. Fold the paper together while the paint is wet and you will have a perfectly symmetrical butterfly.

We love the way that Suzanne Barton’s books introduce children to wildlife and after birds and butterflies we’re looking forward to seeing which kind of wildlife she’ll introduce us to next.

Age Range: 3 +

Author / Illustrator: Suzanne Barton

28 thoughts on “The Butterfly Dance by Suzanne Barton

  1. Hi Catherine, this sounds like another wonderful book. Nature and wildlife is a fascinating subject and the illustrations in this book sound lovely. The story also sounds like a fine example of how, when it comes to friendship, differences really don’t matter.


  2. Oh I love the sound of this, so sweet and some important things to learn! Thanks for sharing with #readwithme

  3. This sounds great! I don’t know if you remember but about this time last year I was looking for a bundle of books about butterflies and asked the good bookish folk on Twitter and we could hardly think of any between us all! Adding this one to the list! #readwithme

    • Last year Kim @ Bookbairn was looking for caterpillar / butterfly stories but she found it difficult to find more than a few. Another story we love with caterpillars and butterflies is Monkey Puzzle by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

  4. This sounds a great book and a lovely way to teach little ones about relationships. (and butterflies!)
    Great review

  5. I was just thinking about BookBairn’s butterfly list and I see she’s commented above lol! This looks fab, one for my library list. #readwithme

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