Butterfly Wings

Our Life in Posts and Pictures

The Butterfly Project April 11, 2010

Filed under: Butterfly,Community — anet smith @ 6:11 pm

I can’t remember what brought it up, but a few weeks ago, I talked with my boys about the Holocaust. Recently, I posted about a Children’s Book, The Butterfly. Branch of Wisdom, a blog I read regularly had a post today that really caught my eye. Today, April 11th, 2010 is Holocaust Rembrance Day.

From Branch of Wisdom: “Sadly 1,500,000 innocent children perished in the Holocaust. In an effort to remember them, Holocaust Museum Houston is collecting 1.5 million handmade butterflies. The butterflies will eventually comprise a breath-taking exhibition, currently scheduled for Spring 2013, for all to remember. The Museum has already collected an estimated 400,000 butterflies.”

I am linking the original post from Tamara at Branch of Wisdom and the wonderful links she included. Thank you Tamara for permission to post directly from her blog. Please check out Branch of Wisdom.

My family will be making butterflies to send for the project. I hope to use the curriculum as a teacher in the coming years.

Branch of Wisdom
Echoes and Reflections – Curriculum
Auschwitz Album
Our Wholehearted Family


The Butterfly April 2, 2010

Filed under: Butterfly,Historical Fiction — anet smith @ 7:17 am

I was prompted to read The Butterfly when a student asked for books on the Holocaust. (I also found Someone Named Eva, by Joan M. Wolf.)

Patricia Polacco wrote The Butterfly about an event from her aunt Monique Boisseau Gaw’s childhood. Monique lived in Nazi occupied France and befriends a “ghost girl”. The friend is actually not a ghost, but a Jewish girl, Sevrine, who is hiding with her family in Monique’s cellar. The girls secretly spend time together and Monique brings things from the outside world in for Servine to see. One night she brings a papillion, a butterfly, in and the girls release it. Servine longs to be as free as the butterfly.

This is a heartwarming tale of friendship, courage and selfless giving. It does not gloss over the evil of dark parts of World history, but presents them truthfully in a way that would be appropriate for children (perhaps grade three and above). Ms. Polacco says on her website that “children understand more than we give them credit for”.

An author’s note is included in the book that gives historical background of her family being part of the French underground and resistance and information on what happened to Monique and Servine’s friendship.

If you haven’t visited Patricia Polacco’s website, you should. She has written and illustrated many wonderful tales from her life. The site (click here) also has e-postcards of Polacco’s art that you can send.