Book review: The Dream of the Butterfly: Part 1 – Rabbits on the Moon, by Richard Marazano, illustrated by Luo Yin

Marazano, Richard. The Dream of the Butterfly: Part 1 – Rabbits on the Moon. Illus. by Luo Yin. Lion Forge, 2017. $12.99. $12.99. unp. ISBN 978-1-941302-39-2. Ages 9-12. P8Q8

The adventure beings when Tutu is blown from her home by a great blizzard to a village of talking animals where being a girl is a crime. In the land of never-ending winter, the Emperor plans to hold her hostage until she finds the butterfly that he wants. Part of the graphic novel is serious, for example, Tutu’s horrible living conditions and the factory where she is forced to work. Yet humor imbues the story as huge rabbits sent to secretly follow her are completely obvious, and the emperor only appears in public as robots that keep self-destructing.

Verdict: Tutu has an entitled nature, easily offended because those around her refuse to follow her standards, yet the detailed steampunk setting in an Asian setting gives an interesting world filled with suspense and adventure. Young readers will identify with Tutu’s alienation and hope for the sequel.

April/May 2018 review by Nel Ward.