A Butterfly in Paris
Esmée Délancourt was perfectly happy never to leave her quiet home in Saint-Denis-lès-Chevreuse, France. But when the doors of the commuter train bound for Paris slide closed, trapping her inside, she finds herself an unwilling participant in an adventure through the City of Lights.
As Esmée struggles to find her way home again, the little butterfly meets a cast of characters and witnesses a world of wonders she could never have imagined. Through danger, love, and loss, she comes to understand the meaning of the word home and the symbolism hidden in a sculpture tucked away in the Louvre Museum; a sculpture her mother used to teach an important childhood lesson.
"The dedication, thoughtfulness, and effort Mr. Pelicano spends on all of his books is incredible. Through his literature, I’m able to travel inside the story. A Butterfly in Paris is a truly inspiring story, told from a unique point of view. Mr. Pelicano has captured the attention of readers of all ages in this fascinating journey through Paris. I can’t get enough of A Butterfly in Paris." - Alyeska Gillander
“To open a book by Matt Pelicano is to enter a world of emotions, action and magic. Just turn the pages and the story unfolds naturally before your eyes, in your imagination. With A Butterfly in Paris, Matt tells a story of friendship: a friendship stronger than all the obstacles placed in its way. Thank you for choosing France, for choosing Paris for Esmée’s adventures. Thank you for putting so much heart into the story and for relating to us with sincerity all the extraordinary situations that she had to face. Even if the beginning of her experience is a little uncertain for Esmée, it can truly be said that everyone would like to live the adventures of A Butterfly in Paris. Ouvrir un livre de Matt Pelicano, c’est entrer dans un monde d’émotions, d’action et de féérie. Il suffit de tourner les pages et l’histoire se déroule naturellement devant nos yeux, dans notre imagination. Avec Un Papillon à Paris, Matt nous raconte avant tout une histoire d’amitié. Une amitié plus forte que tous les obstacles mis sur sa route. Merci d’avoir choisi la France, d’avoir choisi Paris pour les aventures d’Esmée. Merci d’y avoir mis tant de cœur et de nous transmettre avec sincérité, toutes les aventures extraordinaires auxquelles elle a dû faire face. Même si le démarrage est un peu déstabilisant pour Esmée, au fond, tout le monde aimerait vivre l’aventure d’Un Papillon à Paris” - Cécilia Saurel
“Matt’s writing makes you fall in love with reading. Every detail is described so perfectly, you feel like you are living in the story. His words tumble into one another to create a flow that gives the book its own heartbeat. Matt captivates his audience with a style all his own. It’s beautiful, intelligent, and full of soul. You will never be disappointed!" – Amy L. Jones
“Esmee, a butterfly from Saint Denis Les Chevreuse, France, ventures one day to a local train station and flutters onboard a train. When the doors close, she is trapped. She tries to alight from the moving train, but the perpetual movement, rare stopping points, and jostling of passengers makes it impossible. However, in this travelers' tale of adventure, the unexpected happens.
The world-building in this book is superb, and it comes from the author spending six months in Paris to research the factual background to the story.
As I read, I felt a deep, atmospheric sense of place. There was a great feeling of "point of view" throughout, and the idea that a city is interpreted through the unique vision of the eyes of the beholder. The beautifully descriptive detail in the writing is painterly, and use of simile and metaphor, stunning.
The action in the book seems immediate, exciting and in the present. Magical guides and helpers - almost by chance - help make destinies, not least one very significant bee, who understands life in perpetual motion, the river that always takes us home...
There are many grand themes in this book that are explored very well. For instance, loyalty and trust; friendship and forgiveness; gentleness and violence, empathy, compassion and healing; teamwork, communication and cooperation; confinement and freedom; agency and constraint; losing and finding; city and countryside; movement and stillness; life and death.
Filled with flawed yet likable anthropomorphic characters, this book is subtle and nuanced. It is suitable for older children, say from 11 years old, but with a subtext that will appeal to adult readers.
The ending of the story is… satisfying - all the better to let in readers' imaginations. Our journey continues, beyond the book itself, like a mythical river that always leads us home ...
At the end of the book, there are some black and white illustrations and a useful Glossary that helps with the French language in the book. This is mostly explained as you read.
I highly recommend this immersive, heartwarming book. Read the full review at: https://amzn.to/3kjqiuW" – Suzy Davies, Children's Author & Poet
About the Author & Illustrator
Matt Pelicano was born and raised in Upstate New York. He is the youngest of eight kids. From his youth, Matt has always loved the poetry of E.E. Cummings, Shel Silverstein, TS Eliot, Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, and William Shakespeare. His literary heroes include JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Oscar Wilde, Agatha Christie and David McCullough. At age 10, he pulled an old guitar out of the trash, taught himself to play, and soon began writing lyrics, songs, poetry, short stories and books. A widower, Matt has three children, Andy, Joey and Megan, and lives in Greenville, SC with his family of three people, five cats and one dog.
Don Cornue, Artist, Illustrator and Graphic Designer has lived and worked in Central New York for over 50 years. He was employed as an art director for a leading manufacturing firm, retiring after 36 years. He has since been working on his own, specializing in graphic and logo design as well as architectural illustration and portraiture in various mediums. Examples of his work can be seen at www.doncornue.com.