Butterflies in My Stomach and Other School Hazards. Serge Bloch. Sterling. 2008.
Do your kids ever sound like they’re living on another planet? Maybe it’s because our idioms sound like they’re describing another planet. They’re just listening, and Serge Bloch has picked up on this absurdity in “Butterflies.” The story is simple, our nameless protagonist has his first day of school. He is naturally nervous in a new environment, and a variety of adults try to suss out what is bothering him.
The real star of the story is the various idioms that we hear everyday. They sound normal to us, but we might not have considered how they sound to children. They range from “bottling up” our feelings to “being in a pickle” to “wearing your heart on your sleeve.” Kids will likely be familiar with a few of these, but your kids will have endless fun asking you why these idioms mean one thing, but seem to say another.
The illustrations bring the idioms to life with simple ink drawings for reality, and the idiomatic language illustrated with “real” pictures. The result is something like a newspaper comic strip invaded by pickle-bearing aliens.
Add this colorful book to your life, and your kids will add lots of colorful phrases to theirs.