The Lost Meadow
from The Prince of Butterflies



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John recognizes the meadow the butterflies are describing to him and he unintentionally forms an image of its current appearance---it's now a construction zone.  The butterflies sink into despair, then ask John for help finding a new meadow. They ask him to take them there, but he doesn't understand how he can help, and then...


In picture books, there are always paintings that don't work as paintings---you wouldn't hang them on your wall---but they work as illustrations for the story.  At the "art show" at Harcourt, one of the people in the office looked at the paintings and said they didn't like this one, it was depressing.  Given the part of the story it's illustrating, I thought that was one of the nicest things anyone could say about it.


On both this one and the last one, and in other places in the book, I tried to imagine how the butterflies would view their old meadow, the destroyed meadow, etc.  That's why I left out all the details in the construction equipment.  I just wanted it to be a depressing, dull, lifeless place.



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