Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Dance of the Caterpillars - in a time before texting: a book review

The Dance of the Caterpillars – in a time before texting by Caroline S. Fairless is about a young boy named Fisher who is about to experience a life-altering event that will change everything he knows.


The story opens with the last day of summer and Fisher’s parents are arguing in the kitchen. Fisher sneaks down to eavesdrop and overhears that they are sending Fisher somewhere. In school, Fisher is the weird kid who always gets in trouble. He is always daydreaming and not paying attention in class. Throughout the week, Fisher is getting little clues about where he is going and what is going on. He realizes that his father has moved out and most of Fisher’s clothes have gone with him but Fisher is still at home. Finally, on Friday morning Fisher doesn’t go to school. The breeze speaks to him tell him to hurry up, the caterpillars are coming. Deep in a forest, he dances with the caterpillars into the night and the caterpillars encase Fisher in a silk cocoon. The next morning, the butterflies emerge and Fisher breaks free of his cocoon and returns home. He learns the truth of what has been hidden from him all week, His mother has asked his father to move out and take Fisher with him because she can’t handle her life, Fisher’s life and his sister, Corey’s life. The story ends with Fisher leaving with his dad, jokingly asking for his clothes back.


When I requested to review his book, I was interesting to see what the dance of the caterpillars was. What I read was a strange story of divorce and a mother who can’t handle raising two children on her own, so she sends her son to live with his dad. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. I did like the interaction between Fisher and Old Pear Man. It was almost like the old mentor passing on wisdom to his young student. The illustrations are beautiful. The book is in an 8x8 format which I would associate with a picture book with little text. This book has lots of text, almost a chapter book which I think it is better suited for this book. I had to read this book a few times to see what I was missing and I still don’t know. The Dance of the Caterpillars – in a time before texting is another story about the difficult of divorce and separation told through the magical dance of the caterpillars. I read other reviews, which were growing praise and I just don’t know what I am missing.