Jilly is walking the beach with her dog when she looks up in the sky and sees a wispy mist that turns into something orange. What could it be: fallout from a distant volcano, smoke from a faraway fire, or perhaps even an alien spaceship?

Teaming up with her mother, Jilly follows the orange cloud overhead into the woods. Her mother counsels her to keep quiet and to keep looking. At last they come upon a tree which is covered by thousands of monarch butterflies. One lands on her nose and others come to rest on her hair and head.

On their way back home, her mother tells her about her own encounter as a girl with monarch butterflies just like these. Jilly realizes that she and her mom have just made a memory that they can cherish together.

This enchanting children's story is by Sandra Markle and illustrated by Leslie Wu, who demonstrates by her art the great respect she has for the beauties of the natural world. It is a good thing for children to experience the many mysteries of the planet. It is also salutary when something beautiful takes their breath away. One of the pleasures of parenting is being able to create such memories with our children. Butterfly Tree (for children 4 through 8) tutors us in ways to do just that.