This is a sweet, but also somber, story of a grandmother and granddaughter and how they interact while observing the world around them. It is a picture book of how a grandmother teaches a grandchild how to view the world, explore the world, and to appreciate nature and the animals and plants that reside in it. This is a poem and love letter. On the pages of With a Butterfly’s Wings we see how secrets, appreciation and love are passed along and how even when we are gone, those things we have been given with love allow us to still be near the loved ones.
Pilar Lopez Avila’s story is narrated by the granddaughter, taking us through the days, it is slow going, therefore, probably not for the under five crowd if they are listening. But all ages can enjoy the illustrations of Zuzanna Celej. However, knowing it is a book about death, grief and/or loss, you would need to pick your audience carefully.
The illustrations by Celej are soft, gentle, and not overly colorful but not in anyway lacking color. They fit the tone of loss, love, and togetherness. They are sobering, but still give a hopefully as well. Also, they are not overly detailed, having things hidden within a mist-like atmosphere. They almost lend themselves to not having text at all. I am now curious to find other titles illustrated illustrative by Celej.
The original title in Spanish is Con alas de mariposa, and Jon Brokenbrow has done the translation for this edition.