The Prince of Butterflies

by Bruce Coville

They are light as air, soft as feathers, fragile as a dream.

They are lost and need a guide to lead them to safety -- someone like eleven-year-old John Farrington.

They will change his life forever.

Passionate, moving, and inspiring, this flight of fantasy from master storyteller Bruce Coville is a timely fable about the difficulties -- and the rewards -- of staying true to one's heart.


ISBN #: 0-15-201454-3

Reviews and Honors

"Best Illustrated Book of the Year" (2002)

Rakestraw Books

In their newsletter, they had this to say:

Rakestraw's Readers Recommend

"I have not read a picture book that moved me as much as this one in a long time. By the time I finished the story of John Farrington and his love of monarch butterflies, I was in tears. A fantastic book for all ages."

2003 Nautilus Award finalist in the

Children's Illustrated category

"Coville, known for combining magic with important political or social messages, does so again in this gorgeously illustrated picture book."


"Butterflies are truly fascinating, from the way they transform from land-bound caterpillars into glorious winged creatures. The monarch butterfly is especially fascinating for its yearly migration. This beautifully illustrated book wonderfully captures this fascination. […] If you are already a butterfly lover, this is a great book for your collection. And if you are looking for a new fascination, this provides a good start."

Children's Literature

"This is a very good book, one that gives the reader a sense of good and peaceful well-being. It makes the reader feel uplifted and positive about life, knowing that he/she could help someone or something. […] There is a fictional twist to the story that students will be able to tap into with a vivid imagination. The illustrations done by John Clapp further enhance the book along with the story. They are colorful and extremely accurate looking, especially when it comes to the details of the butterflies. […] This book is definitely recommended for any classroom and school library."

Heart of Texas Reviews

"Misty paintings offer some striking images…"

Horn Book

"Clapp provides magical, misty watercolor illustrations that turn a rather unbelievable story into a meaningful fairy tale with an ecological message and a comforting, metaphorical view of life after death. Some will find this story lightweight and sentimental; others will see the trajectory of meaning inherent in a committed life."

Kirkus Reviews