Author: Arnold Sundgaard
A protected lamb and an independent butterfly discuss their very different ways of living in a charmingly simple yet philosophical text on the themes of tolerance and diversity. Lovely full-color illustrations appeal to a wide audience range.
“Ages 3-5. A lamb and a butterfly meet in a meadow and the lamb is full of questions. “Where is your mother?” “Where is your home?” “Where do you sleep?” and “Why don’t you stay with me?” All of the butterfly’s answers have the same thrust—the creature is a free spirit who has no need for restrictions. But when it starts to rain, the butterfly stays only for a brief time with his friend until it is time to migrate south. Preschoolers will respond to the story’s rhythmic text, and Carle’s signature bold, textured collages featuring a beautiful, multi-colored butterfly and a curly-coated lamb. The underlying message that different animals (and by extension, people) have different requirements is subtle but will be perceived by listeners. A good starting point for wide-ranging discussions.”
– by IC, Booklist, November 15, 1988
“When a Lamb and a Butterfly meet in a meadow, the Lamb asks the Butterfly where his mother is. The Butterfly replies, “My mother flies one way while I fly the other.” The Lamb, who is used to the warmth and security of her mother, is astounded by this answer and follows the Butterfly all around the field. Each time she asks the Butterfly a question, she discovers that the small, flitting creature is free to do as he pleases. But when the Butterfly is swept away by a black cloud, the Lamb worries about him—until she discovers him on her back. As the Lamb grows more certain that the Butterfly will stay in the meadow, the Butterfly allows the sun to dry his wings and soon resumes his journey. Sundgaard’s poetic text sings along at a brisk pace, as these two unlikely friends enjoy an afternoon’s interlude. Carle, with the same use of strong color that won him recognition in The Very Hungry Caterpillar and subsequent works, has created bright acrylic and paper collage illustrations that intensify the movement of the story.”
– Publishers Weekly September 9, 1988
“In a mellow variant of “The Ant and the Grasshopper,” a lamb inquires about a butterfly’s life: Where is his mother? Why does he flutter about? Doesn’t he want to be cared for? When the butterfly is caught in a storm, he does rest on the lamb’s back long enough to dry his wings, but then—true to his nature—“he zigged and he zagged and he ziggety zagged,” away to the south. Sundgaard’s text reads smoothly, but the book is chiefly distinguished by Carle’s brilliantly colored collages, composed of beautifully painted textures. Each double spread—the lamb nestling by his mother, the butterfly in full glory, a series of dramatically bold but authentic flowers—is a visual delight; each is a perfect example of art that leads the eye unerringly toward the turn of the page. Just right to share with a group.”
– Kirkus, September 1, 1988