Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Fiction Emotions & Feelings

Butterfly Wings

A Hopeful Story About Climate Anxiety

by (author) Samuel Larochelle

illustrated by Eve Patenaude

translated by Arielle Aaronson

Greystone Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Sep 2023
Emotions & Feelings, Disasters, Depression & Mental Illness
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2023
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 14
  • Grade: 3 to 9


Winner of the 2023 Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature—French Language
An honest exploration of climate anxiety, for kids 8+ and the adults who love them.

When ten-year-old Florent overhears his mothers discussing the possibility of having another baby—and expressing their reluctance due to fears about the planet—his mind races off into a spiral of fear and guilt. Is the planet suffering because there are too many children—children like him? Do his parents think they made a mistake by bringing him into the world?

One night, Florent dreams that the forests have all burned to the ground and that his parents are flying away on a spaceship, abandoning him on a ruined planet. When he wakes up, he decides to stop talking… until a discussion with his mothers changes everything.

At a time when climate change is negatively impacting kids' mental health, Butterfly Wings provides:

  • Anxiety relief: provides a safe space for kids to process their anxiety, fear, and other emotions about the climate
  • A social-emotional learning tool for parents and teachers to talk about climate change with kids through a gentle and hopeful lens

Through thoughtful words and gorgeous illustrations, this compassionate story confronts the very real challenge of climate anxiety in a way that is accessible to young readers. Butterfly Wings provides children with a way to understand their feelings, while also offering hope for a different future.

About the authors

Samuel Larochelle is a novelist, biographer, screenwriter, poet, journalist, radio/TV columnist, cultural entrepreneur, animator, lecturer, and trainer. He lives in Montreal, Quebec.

Samuel Larochelle's profile page

Eve Patenaude spent her childhood in Montérégie and her adolescence in Estrie. She is an author and illustrator, but also a linguistic and editorial editor. She loves books, drawing, embroidery, animals, winter, cozy knitwear and sipping a hot cup of steaming tea while looking out the window. She lives in Montreal, Quebec.

Eve Patenaude's profile page

ARIELLE AARONSON left her native New Jersey in 2007 to pursue a diploma in Translation Studies at Concordia University in Montreal. She holds an M.A. in Second Language Education from McGill University and has spent the past few years teaching English in the Montreal public school system and creating educational material for second language learners. She previously translated Marie-Renée Lavoie’s Autopsy of a Boring Wife and A Boring Wife Settles the Score for Arachnide.


Arielle Aaronson's profile page


  • Winner, Governor General Literary Award, French Language
  • Short-listed, Prix Espiègle

Editorial Reviews

FINALIST for the Prix Espiègle 2023, given by Quebec school libraries to reward daring children's books of great literary quality.

“An invaluable mental health and ecological awareness tool... highly recommended."
—Midwest Book Review

Strikes the tricky balance of acknowledging the reality of the climate crisis without falling into the despair it can certainly engender...captures the surreal, lonely experience of feeling helpless in the face of tragedy. There are no pat answers here, but the ending buoys the story with the possibilities of a radically different future that is perhaps not as grim as Florent—and others—fear it will be."
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books



Other titles by

Related lists