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Marguerite W. Davol in her own words...
Why Butterflies Go by on Silent Wing
May 2001

Ages 4Up

By Marguerite W. Davol, Robert Roth (Illustrator)

When the world was young, it was very noisy. In a place between The Mountains of the Mist and the Singular Sea, all the animals were loud and rude. But the loudest of all were the butterflies. They had something nasty to say about everyone and couldn't agree on anything. These drab colored butterflies would fly from flower to flower making shrill sounds that smothered the air.

One day a thunderstorm with fierce winds and driving rains made the earth tremble. The butterflies clung together in a Bingalou tree powerless against the raging storm. A violent bolt of lightening split the tree in half tossing the butterflies into the mud.

"Every creature in the land had been stunned into silence!"

"In silence the butterflies watched the sun edge from behind the clouds, gold against the sky. In silence they saw a rainbow arch above the Mountains of the Mist. For the very frst time the butterflies looked all around. And as they looked, something wonderful happened."

The air became thick with color as the butterflies were transformed ...

"gold of the sun, the blue of the sky, and all the colors of the rainbow."

The shouting had stopped and they began to honor each other. The butterflies and the other animals learned to listen to nature and respect its awe. No longer did children have to hold their ears when they journeyed through The Mountains of the Mist and the Singular Sea. They could stop and smell the flowers.

The story is enhanced by the beauty and delicacy of Roth's watercolors.

About Marguerite W. Davol:

I was born and grew up in Illinois, attended colleges in Colorado, Kansas, and New York. For many years, I taught young children at Mount Holyoke College's laboratory school, Gorse Child Study Center. My late husband, Stephen Davol, was Professor of Psychology and Education at the College. I have two daughters and a son as does my present husband, Robert Greenberg, and we have seven grandchildren.

Today I enjoy an exciting and successful second career as a children's book author, as well as an active life as Visiting Author/Storyteller for elementary schools. Teaching young children was both an inspiration to me and a perfect apprenticeship for writing children's books!

BUTTERFLIES is my eighth book to date. I love to tell stories and to write original pourqoui tales, folk tales, myths, tall tales. In fact, most of my books actually were first created as stories to tell to the children I taught; later the stories became manuscripts for books. WHY BUTTERFLIES GO BY ON SILENT WINGS grew out of my conviction that everyone needs to pause from time to time to look at, to wonder at, and to appreciate the beauty of the natural world surrounding us.

My other books include:

BATWINGS AND THE CURTAIN OF NIGHT, illustrated by Mary Grandpre (original creation myth); THE PAPER DRAGON, illustrated by Robert Sabuda (original Chinese folk tale which has won several awards, including SCBWI's Golden Kite for both picture book text and picture book illustrations), THE LOUDEST, FASTEST, BEST DRUMMER IN KANSAS, illustrated by Cat Bowan Smith (original tall tale), 2000; THE HEART OF THE WOOD, illustrated by Sheila Hamanaka; BLACK, WHITE, JUST RIGHT, illustrated by Irene Trevas; PAPA ALONZ LEATHERBY (original tall tales); HOW SNAKE GOT HIS HISS, illustratedby Mercedes McDonald (another pourquoi tale).

Email Marguerite Davol