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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Lilotto was a small village surrounded by forests, open land, and a circling river. In a modest house there lived a family; father, mother, and two children, Olivia and Maro. Maro was eleven years old and was passionate about catching butterflies, geography, and listening to his father's stories, and Olivia was nine and her smile made her parents happy. One day the siblings raced to the meadow where the flowers were in full bloom. As Olivia plucked the flowers, Maro caught and released butterflies using his net. A butterfly landed on Maro's shoulder and when the children tried to catch it with their net, it flew back to the forest. Olivia and Maro were fascinated and followed it to a rainbow-hued waterfall. Will they be able to spot the butterfly and what happens when they meet Ms. Tida, the director of the Good Manners School in the Butterfly Garden?
Olivia and Maro: The Butterfly Garden by Cristina Craciun takes readers on a magical and fantastical adventure where they find themselves enchanted by whimsical creatures, alluring forests, and an evil bat king in a journey filled with fun, magic, and danger. The gigantic sugar ants, King Atlas, Ms. Tida, the Dark Forest, King Pteropus, the bat king, and the trees will keep readers enthralled, curious, and intrigued. The bat king and the Dark Forest add to the eeriness of the plot and make readers experience the dangers the kids undergo during their adventure. Odysseus Stamoglou's illustrations are as enchanting as the story and breathe life not only into Olivia, Maro, and their parents but also into the magical creatures in the forest and make them real by giving them each their own individuality and personality. Olivia and Maro: The Butterfly Garden is definitely for children who love anything mysterious and fascinating and will leave them wanting more. This charming fairy tale will intrigue and entertain readers of all ages.