Spider wants to cheer up and dazzle his friend Caterpillar using his web of magic tricks. But trick after trick fails to impress the now sleeping caterpillar who has tucked herself inside a tiny shell. Weeks later, Spider goes to visit his friend. Caterpillar asks him to wait as she slowly emerges from her sleep. Abracadabra! She is now a beautiful butterfly—the most magical trick of all!
PreS-Gr 2–It’s impossible to imagine the delight on listeners’ faces when the end of this gorgeous little tale of the magic of caterpillar-becoming-butterfly is revealed. When Spider goes to visit his small friend, Caterpillar, she is hanging in her “house,” visible only as a small, quiet face swaddled in an oblong cocoon. Spider, to entice her out, performs trick after trick, summoning all his powers and adding a resplendent “Abracadabra!” whenever he can, following his spinning of a hat, for example, or guitar playing. His queries lead to dead ends, too. No, she is not sick. No, she is not sad. This loving dilemma—how can we help when a friend is quiet?—will resonate with readers. The reassuring ending, that nothing is wrong and, in fact, something wonderful has happened, will trigger joy. Yang’s illustrations have the soft look of felting in cheerful, mellow hues, and pair well with Li’s simple language. VERDICT Story hours will benefit from the lessons of interrelationships, and the occasional outburst of “Abracadabra!” can’t hurt.