Butterflies for Kiri

By School Library Journal

A Japanese American child receives an origami kit for her birthday. The brightly colored papers are “as thin as butterfly wings” and she handles them with care and reverence, spreading them out “like a rainbow.” Kiri pores over the diagrams in the instruction book and tries to “Fold crisply” and “Crease sharply!” The steps become more complicated and when the delicate sheet tears, she cries in frustration. Afraid of ripping another piece, she puts the papers away. As time passes, Kiri enjoys other artistic pursuits, like painting and chalk drawing, but she is still intrigued by the art of origami and continues to practice her folds on notebook paper. When her watercolors run together on make a soggy hole in the center of her picture, she finds another use for the origami papers. she cuts out flower shapes and as she glues them on her painting, “The colors began to dance.” Feeling emboldened, she selects a sheet of yellow paper and sucessfully folds a butterfly. Falwell’s cut-and-torn paper collages are the perfect medium for the story. Kiri’s disappointments are realistically captured, as is her creative spirit. Instructions on how to make an origami butterfly are included.