The Little Butterfly That Could by Ross Burach

Hello, Ross Burach! The last time you visited Watch. Connect. Read. was on May 30, 2018 to celebrate The Very Impatient Caterpillar. Today, you’re back to celebrate The Little Butterfly That Could, a WONDERFUL, FUNNY, and PERFECT companion to The Very Impatient Caterpillar. What are three things you want everyone to know about The Little Butterfly That Could?

Ross Burach: First off, thank you so much for having me back!! I am so glad you love the follow up book. Oh man...three things...

I had a lot of fun developing Butterfly’s character even more. Whenever I do school visits, the students always ask me, what happens next to Butterfly? So I’m thrilled to have a silly continuation of the journey for them to read. And this one has a whale! (Does that count as two things?)

Persistence can be hard for kids. But Butterfly learns that if at first you don’t succeed...fly, fly again! That’s the message I want kids to get from this book.

Have fun reading it! I always hope people read the Butterfly character with a lot of theatrics and energy.

Well done, Ross! According to the copyright page, you created the art with pencil, crayon, acrylic paint, and digital coloring. Please take us through the process of creating one of the two-page spreads for The Little Butterfly That Could.


Ross Burach: I do all of the initial sketches at actual size with pencil and crayon. On a separate sheet of paper, I paint the shapes of the characters with acrylic paint. Next, I scan the pencil and crayon and acrylic layers into the computer and combine them digitally. Working in layers allows me to play with the color a bit more easily, and also to play with the expressions of the characters. Finalizing the spreads on the computer also gives me the freedom to experiment with scale. And in a book with a whale and a butterfly--two creatures so far apart in size--that is very helpful.



If we were to visit your studio right now, what would we see?

Ross: You would see a bowl of onions, potatoes and bananas because my ’studio’ is basically my kitchen table, which I have to clean up before dinner time. But during my work day, I put up character designs, sketches and color references for the project I’m currently working on. Right now, I am brainstorming ideas for a new book. So the kitchen wall is filled with endless little yellow post-its and random notes like ‘I finished my spinach’ or ‘Can a Hippo Hulahoop?’


Please finish the following sentence starters:

Whales are mysterious and fascinating. One species of whale can live up to 200 years! They feel like these massive creatures that keep the secrets of the ocean.

Tracy Mack and Marijka Kostiw are also mysterious and fascinating...and my amazing Editor and Art Director at Scholastic. They are incredible at pushing you to get the best story and look for your book...even when you are very tired and don’t want to make any more changes. And then you are glad you did.

School librarians are dedicated and passionate about helping students discover the joy of reading. And they are the BEST when it comes to school visits. You’ll never feel more welcomed anywhere than walking into a library the morning of a school visit.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me what I’ve been doing to keep busy during quarantine. Lots and lots of cardboard craft projects with my kids. And trying to be patient like Caterpillar.


Look for The Little Butterfly That Could on March 2, 2021. 

Scholastic's Description:

This comical companion to Ross Burach's The Very Impatient Caterpillar pays loving homage to every child's struggle to persist through challenges while also delivering a lighthearted lesson on butterfly migration. Remember, if at first you don't succeed, fly, fly again!

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