Kibble: The Monarch Caterpillar Afraid to Get Wings
by Anita Gnan, published 2017
“It took Kibble a few moments before he was ready to let go of that trunk again, but soon enough, he carefully walked over to me….”
This well-crafted illustrated children’s book is very unusual. The cartoon-like illustrations are well-done, but unlike most illustrated children’s books, there is a lot of text on each page. In other words, this book has a substantial story to tell. More than that, this children’s book has a mission – to help children and adults understand monarch butterflies and their life cycle. Sad to say, these beautiful butterflies are at risk in our world today, and anything that can help keep their habitat safe is a worthwhile endeavor.
It’s clear as one reads the book that the author worked hard to craft an accessible but important story to tell. Along with information about the butterflies, the story also addresses fears – fear of growing up, fear of the unknown. It does so in a very kind and friendly manner. And the value of friendship is a key to Kibble’s success. The book will hold the interest of children as young as 6 and probably up to 9, since there’s a nice dose of playfulness along with the facts about monarchs.
While older children can read this book independently, I think it works best as a read-aloud. The author has also gone to great lengths to create an audio (cd or digital download) for a “read-along.” However, as readers of this website know, I’m a big fan of reading aloud with children, rather than using technology. On the other hand, once a child has had a living experience of the book, it could be fun to revisit it with an audio. Depends on your philosophy about children and technology.
Back to the illustrated children’s book, a big plus for me is that there is also additional information at the back of the book, again illustrated and simple to approach. This makes Kibble a great illustrated children’s book for a classroom library, especially having it available when the class is studying butterflies.
Per their website, “the proceeds from this book directly fund education, restore habitat, and protect wildlife,” so I encourage you to purchase the book directly from the author. As you know, Amazon reduces the proceeds to authors significantly.