Book Review: Bella the Bedtime Butterfly / Brave Mee and the Forest of Tangled Lies

Both Bella the Bedtime Butterfly & Brave Mee and the Forest of Tangle Lies are children’s books written by Laura Wright who is U.S. Armed Forced Marine veteran. Both books were released digitally in 2020 but are available in both ebook, hardback, and paperback formats.

Bella the Bedtime Butterfly follows the adventure of Bella, a butterfly who spends her days spreading smiles to different children around town dealing with issues that cause them to frown. At night, Bella takes to the dream world to fight Frownster the dragon.

For mature readers, the concept may seem a bit convoluted but the purpose of the story is to try and encourage children to smile. The story culminates in a typical happily-ever-after ending where everyone, even Frownster the dragon, are all smiling and friendly. While the story might be a little light on a moral or life lesson like so many other children’s books, it is still cute little adventure that isn’t too scary or violent, making it a good bedtime story for young children. What could be better than your little one drifting off to sleep thinking of a wonder butterfly who spreads smiles and saves the king, queen, prince, and princess by stopping Frownster the dragon with the power of a smile?

The story is short, an easy bedtime read for any parent. Plus, the book is wonderfully illustrated with hand-drawn pictures, also drawn by the author, that I’m sure many young children will love.

Brave Mee and the Forest of Tangled Lies is different than Bella the Bedtime Butterfly. Brave Mee is about a young child who is filled with self-doubt and a deflated sense of self-worth. Brave Mee ventures into the Forest of Tangled Lies where the child must face certain fears and perceptions about themself. Only after confronting the fears and poor self-images can Brave Mee see the truth of how others think about the young child. Once Brave Mee realizes the truth and begins to see his/her true value to others, Brave Mee manages to leave the forest and return home much happier than before.

While some may find this concept difficult for a small child to fully understand, it is never too early to begin teaching children that there is nothing more important than recognizing their own self-value and self-worth, even if others are mocking you. In a world filled with depressed, angry, sad, or alienated children who sometimes lash out in ultra-destructive ways that harm not only themselves but those around them, this book does a good job to try and counter those emotions early by reminding children that things are not always what you think and that not everything means that you are less than a beautiful person. 

And just like Bella the Bedtime Butterfly, this book is illustrated by hand-drawn pictures from the author herself. 

The theme is a bit complex and younger readers may struggle with the language on their own but this is a book that I would encourage every parent to read their child multiple times. 

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