This first talking animal, coming-of-age book in the "Butterfly Meadow" series by Olivia Moss is published by Scholastic, Inc.
Dazzle's First Day is written for kids ages 5 to 9. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
Dazzle, a brand-new butterfly, leaves her chrysalis and teaches herself to fly. She meets ladybugs and learns that there is something called a mom. She wonders where her mom is. A blackbird spies Dazzle and almost eats her, but a blue butterfly, Skipper, shows Dazzle how to hide in a rambling rosebush. Once the bird is gone, the two butterflies get to know each other. They sip nectar, then go to the meadow. Skipper introduces Dazzle to animals and insects; cows, hedgehogs, bees and others. At the meadow, Dazzle meets hundreds of butterflies and learns that she is a pale clouded yellow butterfly. She also learns that she doesn’t have a mom. The butterflies decide to have a party to welcome Dazzle, and they invite all the friendly animals and insects. Skipper teaches Dazzle the butterfly dance, and when the party ends, Dazzle curls up beneath a leaf and sleeps.
There is no mention of God being the Creator.
The ladybug mother takes care of her children. The book’s focus, other than the first day in the life of Dazzle, is Dazzle’s mother. The question is raised at the beginning of the book and is resolved by the end. Dazzle does not have a mother, which empowers her to bring herself into the world. So the butterfly that lays the eggs is not seen as a mother. Dazzle accepts that there is no one in authority over her, such as a parent. She is responsible for her own future. All the animals and insects are her equals, and they learn from each other.
Other Belief Systems
Dazzle doesn’t understand what a mom is, so the ladybugs tell her that moms are responsible for bringing children into the world and taking care of them until they can take care of themselves. Dazzle is proud that she doesn’t need a mother.
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
- Are you ever confused about how things work in your world, as Dazzle was when she came out of her chrysalis?
What kinds of things confuse you?
- What are some things your mom and dad do to take care of you?
- Who was Dazzle’s biological mother?
- Did Dazzle really create herself?
- If you were to rewrite this book, where would you mention God?
- What did you learn about butterflies?
- What did you find most interesting about butterflies?
Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.