More books by Jeanne Willis
Illustrated ByTony Ross
PublisherAndersen Press Ltd
Publication date4th March 2010
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Written by: Jeanne Willis
Illustrated by: Tony Ross
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Julia Eccleshare's comment:
This is a magical picture book from what you could call the dream team of Jeanne Willis (who writes the words) and Tony Ross (who creates the illustrations). Caterpillar Dreams celebrates the life of two curly caterpillars who dream of all the things they will do when they become butterflies. Autumn comes, and they settle down to sleep, eager to wake up and have their dream realised. But Nature of course has a different dream, a different plan for them...
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SynopsisCaterpillar Dreams by Jeanne Willis
Two curly caterpillars dream of all the things they will do when they become butterflies. Autumn comes, and they settle down to sleep, eager to wake up and have their dream realized. But Nature has a different dream, a different plan for them...
'A dream team of writer and illustrator!' - The Times
Review of ‘Caterpillar Dreams’ by Books for Keeps [3 stars]
Another successful collaboration between two well-loved children’s authors – Jeanne Willis’ language is simple yet lyrical and Tony Ross matches its impact with his beautiful drawings. It’s a magical combination for a lovely story about two caterpillars who consider themselves sisters and look forward to their time together once they have grown into butterflies: ‘They would wake to the song of the blackbird. And fly through skies of forget-me-not blue. They would sip from buttercups… flit through sunbeams… and bathe in gold dust.’
But on the day when one of them emerges as a butterfly, she finds herself alone with no sign of her sister among the sunbeams. That night she dreams of her sister waking in the night: ‘Soaring through space. Skipping through moonbeams. Bathing in stardust.’ The two meet at dawn and find that one is a butterfly and one a moth, dreaming different dreams, waking to different birdsong, but both beautiful in their own way and both part of nature’s plan: ‘We cannot all be butterflies it seems. The world needs moths just like it needs the moon. That’s what keeps it turning, turning, turning.’
The illustrations on the last couple of pages bring the human connection to the fore: two children walk hand in hand in the field below the butterfly and moth. The last double spread, with beautiful simplicity juxtaposes the threads woven through the story. On the one hand, with the day fully dawned, the butterfly landing on the girl’s hand. On the other, the boy blissfully asleep and the moth flitting by in the night sky visible through his window.
About The Author
Jeanne has been writing since she was five and has published over 150 books across all genres from picture books to teen fiction. She has had other strange jobs alongside being an author, including cowboy boot seller and reptile vet's assistant and once conducted the school orchestra in concert despite not being able to read a note of music or identify the instruments. As well as cats, rabbits, hamsters, dogs, fish and rats, she has owned a garter snake called Betty, a 25 years old smooth-clawed toad called Dave, an axolotl, newts, locusts and some giant hissing stick insects. She was once thrown out of her religious studies class at school by the Reverend Brown for writing rude poems. She was the Blue Team Captain at Junior School, sprinted for the county and can still do cartwheels.
She has won numerous awards including the Red House Children’s Book Award, the Smarties Prize and the Sheffield Children’s Book Award. She lives in North London.
Photo credit: Justine Stoddart
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