Butterfly Tree

by Sandra Markle
Illustrated by Leslie Wu
The mystery of monarch butterfly migration is revealed in this sensitive, eloquent mother-daughter story.
Price: $16.95
  • ISBN: 9781561455393
  • Publication date: 09/01/2011
  • Page Count: 32
  • Size: 11" x 8-1/4"
  • Age Range: 4-8


The mystery of monarch butterfly migration is revealed in this sensitive, eloquent mother-daughter story.

One late afternoon in early September, Jilly sees something. It looks like it’s raining black pepper from a clear blue sky. Then the black rain becomes a wispy mist. And then a shimmering orange cloud. What can it be? Jilly and Mom set out to identify the mysterious orange cloud. The closer they get, the more curious Jilly gets. Gradually, the hidden world of nature opens to mother and daughter.

This imaginative description of monarch butterfly migration from author Sandra Markle reminds us that a loving parent can empower a child to discover the mysteries of the natural world—and to enjoy that discovery again and again.


Sandra Markle


Sandra Markle is the author of more than two hundred children’s books, which have won numerous awards, including Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book, IRA/CBC Children’s Choice, NSTA/CBC Outstanding Trade Books for Children, NCTE Orbis Pictus Recommended, and ALA Notable Books for Children. She lives in New Zealand.

Leslie Wu


Leslie Wu is a fine artist and the illustrator of the New York Times bestseller The Very Best Daddy of All and Bijou, Bonbon, & Beau: The Kittens Who Danced for Degas. She lives in Oregon.


“This is an excellent wedding of evocative text and dreamy, misty art in a book as much about making memories as it is about the butterflies’ flight.” ―Booklist

“The text reads aloud smoothly, suiting this especially well for use with a group…Even collections with many monarch titles will want to add this one for its masterful evocation of a child’s sense of wonder at the natural world.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Wu’s double-page impressionist pastel drawings in smudged tones of vivid orange, yellow green, blue, and deep brown echo the dreamlike quality of the narrative.” ―School Library Journal

“The world has many mysteries, and we don’t solve them all when we turn into an adult. With a beautiful water-color style of art throughout, ‘Butterfly Tree’ is a fine read for any parent and child who share an interest in nature.” ―Midwest Book Review

“The story will capture the imagination in so few words while the images dance before your eyes in a swirling mass of deep oranges and burnt reds. You can’t help but be whisked away by the beauty before you.” ―Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers


Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12 ―National Science Teachers Association/Children’s Book Council, 2012

Best Children’s Books of the Year (Starred) ―Bank Street College of Education, 2012

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award ―Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, 2011

Ohioana Book Award (Finalist, Juvenile Books) ―Ohionana Library Association, 2012

Green Earth Book Award (Shortlist, Picture Book) ―Newton Marasco Foundation, 2012

More Details

AR Level: 3.4
F&P: O, Gr 3, Genre RF
Themes: Discovery, Monarch Butterfly Migration
BISAC 1: JUV002300 JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Butterflies, Moths & Caterpillars
BISAC 2: JUV029000 JUVENILE FICTION / Nature & the Natural World
BISAC 3: JUV014000 JUVENILE FICTION / Girls & Women

Books By Sandra Markle