Selara Leda’s real fairy godmother has left on a trip, and her substitute is the worst godmother fairy in the world! Burt Buttles isn’t even a godmother; at best he’s a god-uncle. A god-uncle without a clue. He put brown in a rainbow! Except… Burt has granted Selara’s birthday wish: she’s a butterfly! A big, amazing butterfly that really flies. Only, she’s a kind of butterfly that lives in the Amazon rain forest. Now Selara has a problem: How does she get home? Her fairy godmother–god-uncle, that is–might be her only way out. And he’s disappeared. Perhaps with the help of a very large and toothy jaguar Selara can find Burt and make the right wish to go home… before something eats her.
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And here, for your reading pleasure, is our free excerpt:
Selara Leda woke and thought that she felt very warm. She looked around and wondered if she had fallen asleep in the garden, there was so much green. There were plants everywhere!
She stretched and flapped her wings.
Flapped her wings?
Selara looked over her shoulder and gasped in surprise. Her wish had come true, she was a butterfly! With blue wings.
She tried them again. They were real. Could she fly? She flapped harder and let go of the leaf she was standing on. Wow, she was flying! She flew up and did a loop like butterflies do, then she soared up high. She dove, she twirled, she drifted…she giggled uncontrollably. She felt amazing.
Then Selara felt tired. Flying was hard work. She landed on a branch and looked around. She didn’t know where she was. It was not her backyard, or the park down the street, or any place she knew. Everywhere there were trees and plants and leaves, leaves, leaves. Not even any flowers. Where was this? She listened. Chirps, whirs, a rattle of leaves…
“HELLO! Isn’t this incredible? Ha!”
Selara Leda jumped and tumbled and would have fallen on her pretty wings if she hadn’t flipped over at the last moment. She looked up.
Before her stood the most curious little man. He must have been very small, because he stood atop a leaf. He also had wings. One looked like it was missing a piece. Who are you? Selara thought. She felt shy and didn’t know if she could make a sound with her new mouth—butterflies don’t make sounds—but the little man understood.
“I am your godmother fairy. Call me Burt,” he said with a large smile. Then he put his hands on his hips and looked around.
Selara hesitated. Her fairy godmother? He didn’t look like a fairy! He had a beard, long hair, and was dressed in brown. And he was a he.
Burt turned back to face her, still grinning. “Oh, some of us are more like god-daddies or god-uncles, I guess. I granted your wish, do you like it?” he asked.
Selara thought about it. Flying was fun, yes, but she felt a little lonely and lost. She nodded. Then she looked around at all the green.
“This is the Amazon rain forest. Amazing, huh? You wanted to be a big blue butterfly and this is where those live.”
Selara thought about what Burt said. Amazon? Rain forest? She knew about that, it rained lots and monkeys lived there.
Finally Selara felt she could speak. “Which way is my house?” she asked. She wanted to show her friends how she could fly.
Burt smiled again. “I don’t know! Ha! But here you can play however you want. Come on, let’s fly.” Burt bent his legs to jump.
Selara felt sad. Here she had neither friends nor toys. “I want to go home,” she said.
Burt snorted, hovering just a couple of inches above his leaf. “What? But there is so much fun to have! Come on now, you have wings. Let’s fly!”
Burt zipped up into the air. Selara noticed his wings buzzed like a dragonfly, while her big wings made a very soft whoosh as she flapped them.
Selara didn’t want to be alone, so she followed Burt. They flew up high to where the sun shone bright, zoomed down into the shadows under the trees, and then climbed high again. There were so many trees, and birds and ants… Ants everywhere! she thought. But then she tired again and started to feel hot and hungry. She really wanted to go home. A strawberry popsicle would make her feel much better.
Burt finally stopped zipping about. He landed on a very long, wide leaf. Selara landed too. She smelled something sweet and it made her hungrier.
“I’m hungry,” Burt said.
Selara wiggled her antennas.
“Come on,” he said.
She followed him up the leaf. There was something hanging from the tree: big and bulky with lots of curved, yellow blobs. Bananas, Selara realized as Burt opened one and scooped out a handful of fruit. She jumped in near him and poked her long mouth (it was called a proboscis, she remembered) into the banana. It tasted heavenly.
They ate and ate.
“Ah, that’s good, huh?” Burt said, wiping his hands on his brown shorts, leaving bits of banana behind.
Selara tried to nod. Her bushy antennas bobbed in front of her eyes.
Burt stretched and burped.
Selara wanted to giggle. But she was beginning to feel sad again.
“Are you really my fairy godmother?” she asked.
Burt scratched his belly. “Well… yes, I am. But only for a little while. Your regular fairy godmother is traveling.” He looked around as if searching for someone.
Selara stared at him. She had known it! He couldn’t be her real fairy godmother, he was too… hairy. “Where did she go?”
“I don’t know, some family thing. She’ll be back soon.” Burt shifted his shirt and hopped on his toes a couple of times. It looked like he was getting ready to fly again.
“When?” she asked.
“When does she come back? I want to go home—”
Burt abruptly cocked his head as if hearing something. “Oh geez, I need to go. I’ll be back later. Bye!”
And before Selara could say or think a thing, Burt buzzed up and away and was gone. She tried to watch where he went, but she saw only leaves, leaves, leaves. It felt really quiet. Something chirped nearby. A bird? A spooky yell echoed in the distance. Another butterfly, smaller and with orange and black in its wings flitted overhead. Selara hoped it would stop to talk to her, but it didn’t.
Selara was a big, beautiful, blue butterfly that could fly—for real! Only she had no one to show. She was all alone in the Amazon rain forest, wherever that was, atop a big leaf with nothing but banana to eat. She wanted her mom. She wanted to cry. Except it didn’t seem butterflies could cry.
Continued… Click on the title below to get the book and keep reading Butterfly Wish