Published May 1st 1997 by HarperCollins Children's Books
After Bertie rescues an orphaned lion cub from the African veld, they are inseparable until Bertie is sent to boarding school far away in England and the lion is sold to a circus. Bertie swears that one day they will see another again, but it is the butterfly lion that ensures that their friendship will never be forgotten.
All my life I'll think of you,
I promise I will.
I won't ever forget you.
- Michael Morpurgo
Actual rating: 4.5
I started this book wondering why we had to read another book for school for nine and up. I didn't want to read a silly children's book. I wanted to read a real classic. After going back to what I was thinking before I started The Butterfly Lion, I now realise how dumb and judgmental I was. A book of which I didn't think I'd enjoy at all, is now one of my favourite children's stories.
The plot is simple and very easy to follow. You have to get used to the change of the points of view, but that's about it. Speaking of, can I say how much I loved how the story was put together? It all starts with a young boy listening to an old lady telling him a story of love and friendship, and in the end it's so much more than that. The change of the points of view are there for a reason, and I just love how it all connected.
Since The Butterfly Lion is a short book which I read on a sunny afternoon, I had no trouble with the pace. It went nice along with the story. It didn't have a big role after all, because the plot was just so lovely you can't put it down. You want to know everything there is to know, and you're trying to put certain pieces together. In the end, those pieces created an excellent novel. However, when I'm talking about the very end of this book, I have to say that I'm really sad about this. Not because the ending was sad with the memorial of the White Prince, but because it left me confused. I don't know what to make out of the end. Was the lady a ghost, or has the protagonist imagined everything? If so, I think none of the two would make actual sense. I would have preferred it a lot more if it ended with the old lady having finished her story. Those last scentences she said were warm and gave me a happy feeling. I could say the ending ruined the entire book, yet I won't because before this I enjoyed it so much and I absolutely loved it.
With a perfect twist I'd have never seen coming, wonderful illustrations and a heartwarming plot, The Butterfly Lion is a book I'll remember.