How beautiful by Antonella Capetti and Melissa Castrillon

cover image

How Beautiful is a gentle, thoughtful story complemented by stunning illustrations. A tiny caterpillar who has happily lived each day munching on leaves is suddenly plucked from a leaf and told he is beautiful. This leads him on a quest to find out what beautiful actually means. He asks a bear who says honeycomb is beautiful. He asks squirrels who say dry leaves are beautiful. He asks a mouse who says a mushroom that is shelter from the rain is beautiful. He asks a deer who says his golden seat is beautiful. He asks a mole who says his underground hole is beautiful. Along the journey a blackbird annoyingly disputes all of the animals and their choices of beautiful. The caterpillar begins to worry that he will never find the true meaning of beautiful until he and the other animals rest under the night sky and see how beautiful it is.

The striking colour palette of purples, oranges, reds and browns used in the illustrations are reminiscent of stories from the past. The illustrations are both detailed and appealing and offer the reader the opportunity to search for hidden creatures. This story very much reflects the saying, ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’ A lovely book to share with children of all ages.

Themes: Animals, Nature, Beauty.

Kathryn Beilby