The Butterfly Review

Resource Lists and Reviews / Sunday, February 19th, 2017

Every life has a story, and every story has a moral.

Stories that teach virtue are beautiful to me; they present character in a non-lecturing fashion that inspires rather than enforces. they can open countless discussions about character and how it works in real life, they can model character and the consequences of not having it, they can even help children learn how to integrate character into areas of their lives they may not have considered.

All that being said, I hope that you will be inspired to share your own story with the children in your life. There is nothing more impactive than a living, breathing example for our kids to follow. It is not about being perfect, but about being authentic and willing to grow…let them watch and learn from your transformation into a butterfly.

We are excited to bring you reviews of picture books categorized by the virtue they demonstrate. Over the past few months we have been collecting books to read and rate for our new Butterfly Review here on the VirtueVille Blog. In the future we hope to include reviews on chapter books, young adult books, toys, videos, and songs/albums.

Books are rated by Heather McMillan, the author of We Choose Virtues, and by people she trusts. If you want to review books for her, or suggest books/series for review, please contact her via email

We award 5 butterflies to a book/series that, in our opinion, has these features:

  1. It is organized by character trait (series) or presents a character trait as a main theme (book).

  2. It clearly and accurately demonstrates virtue.

  3. It includes attractive pictures (if applicable) and is a well-written book.

  4. It does not appear to force cultural opinions or lecture the reader.

  5. Ties back to another subject (such as math, history, science or practical instructions) to further integrate virtue.

A book missing one of these is likely to receive 4 butterflies, and missing two would earn it 3 butterflies and so on. We will always explain why it received its rating. This will help make a fairly subjective system, easier to follow.

We will list the title, author, illustrator, publisher, series titles, the virtues taught, our thoughts, and any notes that made it stand out to us. We will also disclose who rated the book for this blog, so you can follow your favorite reviewers.

No matter if you buy books on line or find them in a used book bin, we hope you love the thrill of the hunt, and that once found, it is exactly what you were looking for. We hope the Butterfly Review will enable you to confidently add books to your library that Simply Inspire Character that Lasts. 

Let’s find some “5-butterfly” books together!

Heather McMillan


If you have more questions about Heather’s philosophy for choosing and sharing good books, please ask in the comment section. Please suggest picture books for review as well. 

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