So every week the kids at school get to choose library books to bring home with them. Yesterday, we finally had a moment to devote our storytime routine to these new selections.
They are always different and great but one particular book stood out to me, simply because it opened from top to bottom and not left to right.
It tells about a love between a tadpole and a caterpillar, in which a promise is made for them to never change. But alas, the tadpole will change and begins doing so, daily. He sprouts legs, arms and then ultimately loses its tail.
The caterpillar is repeatedly disappointed, as well as, brokenhearted. She chooses to abandon the one who has deceived her by failing to keep his promise to never change. During this farewell she disappears into her cocoon.
Once she has reemerged (now a beautiful butterfly of course) she realizes that she wants to give her tadpole another chance because she misses him so and was perhaps hasty in her decision to have ever let him go.
When she flies over to the nearest frog to ask if they’ve seen her tadpole, she’s swallowed up whole! This frog (formerly her beloved tadpole) was completely unaware of her own lovely metamorphosis. Both of these creatures had become unrecognizable to each other and now only the frog remains, left to sit and wonder just longing for her return.
His love is gone forever and he will never know why.
Although I expected each of them to change accordingly (despite their foolish promises) I was not expecting the frog to devour the butterfly, at all. But I suppose that’s just your typical day in the life of an insect eater, I guess.
My child on the other hand was more than amused, not yet able to grasp the fact that in addition to the nature lesson being told, there was a profound message in there about life, love and loss.
Every now and again we find ourselves touched by the poignancy inside of a children’s book, such as The Tadpole’s promise.
It’s a pretty special book, in my book.