(From Patricia Polacco)
This story came from my Aunt Monique’s amazing life. Our family had always heard bits and pieces of Monique’s life growing up in France during the war, but as she was sharing this particular story with me I knew it needed to be told. This is a story of courage and ever lasting friendship. I was amazed as Monique spoke of Sevrine...I had known that she was still Monique’s friend, but had not realized how they had met during the war.
I have long wanted to write a story about W.W.II and how such tragedy brought out such amazing acts of courage in everyday people. I was so pleased when Monique gave the project her blessing. I knew I wanted to show the horrors of war to children in way that they could identify with... I felt the fist crushing the butterfly would make a powerful statement they could understand without beating them over their heads with pictures of blood and violence. I feel that children understand more than we give them credit for...they have an incredible capacity for compassion, and they understand that we have very dark parts to our history as human beings. We need to keep telling these stories... hopefully we wont repeat our mistakes.
This story pays homage to those who have stood up against oppression... those who have shown courage... and those who know the joy of true friendship.