Red Butterfly: How a Princess Smuggled the Secret of Silk Out of China
Written by Deborah Noyes
Illustrated by Sophie Blackall
Ages: 6-10, Grades: 3-6
If you have a budding artist or future illustrator in your midst, you must pick up Red Butterfly: How a Princess Smuggled the Secret of Silk Out of China this month to share with your son or daughter. Not only does Deborah Noyes exquisitely tell the story of silk and its move to the west, she also masterfully take us on a trip to explore and discover the pageantry of China’s imperial court.
Equally of importance are the splendid illustrations by Sophie Blackall that exude elegance, beauty, grace and the richness of tradition. Any child who already has a talent for drawing and for the arts will be inspired to continue their craft after seeing these stellar illustrations.
Written in a first person narrative with a distinct poetic flow, a Chinese princess describes her last days at court before she is married off to the king of Khotan. We travel with the princess through the cultural rites and rituals of an ensuing imperial marriage as well as experience the understandable sadness of a young princess who is leaving the only family and palace she has ever known.