Growing up/change in children’s picture books

A friend suggested that I read Tadpole’s Promise by Jeanne Willis. I actually cried reading this children’s picture book. My friend said that children laugh at it.

It is about a tadpole and caterpillar who fall in love. They promise one another that they will never change, but much as it is in life, in this story change is inevitable. Tadpole grows legs and becomes a frog; caterpillar spins a cocoon and becomes a beautiful butterfly. They each hang around the pond looking for one another. Frog sees a butterfly hanging around and in one gulp she’s gone.  When you turn the page frog wonders where his friend is.

Today at work I came across “Farfallina and Marcel” by Holly Keller which won the Charlotte Zolotow Award. This book is a better alternative since it has a more positive outlook on life. Farfallina the caterpillar becomes friends with Marcel a gosling and they do everything together until one day everything changes. Still despite the physical changes which occur to their bodies and that they are both different creatures from one another they find each other and their friendship endures in the end. This is a beautiful and touching story and if I had another story time with the 2-7 year olds I’d definitely choose to read this book.

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