A Thousand White Butterflies
Jessica Betancourt-Perez, author
Jessica Betancourt-Perez came to the US from Colombia at age 15 and now lives in Pennsylvania with her family. She holds a master's degree in school psychology and currently works in a school district in York, Pennsylvania. A Thousand White Butterflies is her debut picture book.
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Karen Lynn Williams, author
Karen Lynn Williams has written many books for children, including Galimoto and My Name is Sangoel. She holds a master's degree in deaf education. Karen lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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Gina Maldonado, illustrator
Gina is a Colombian illustrator based on Hong Kong. She studied interior design in Colombia, Mexico, and Italy.
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- Coming soon!
Isabella is excited for her first day of school in a new country, because she knows it means making new friends. She misses those she left behind in Colombia, not to mention her father, who is waiting for permission to join Isabella, her mother, and her grandmother in the U.S. On the much-anticipated day, Isabella wakes up early only to be confronted by snow blanketing the ground and fluttering through the air like butterflies. When she learns that school is canceled, she is heartbroken. As she sits by the window, Isabella sees a young girl fall in the snow. Isabella quickly puts on her coat and boots and runs outside, where she finds the girl is actually making a snow angel. The girl invites Isabella to join her. “I don’t know all her words,” Isabella narrates, “but I understand enough.” She happily flops onto the snow and helps her new friend build a snowman, complete with sombrero vueltiao and rauna (poncho). Drawing upon Betancourt-Perez’s immigration experience, this story contains many of the emotions children may feel when settling into life in a new country. Instead of portraying Spanish as a linguistic barrier for Isabella, the cheerful illustrations (created with crayon, acrylic paint, and Photoshop) show how the girls’ fun transcends this difference. A glossary of Spanish words and an author’s note further enrich this heartwarming story.
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Page count: 40
10 x 8