The Butterfly Heart

By Paula Leyden

A lyrical story from the butterfly heart of Africa.

Bul-Boo and Madillo are worried about their friend Winifred, who has lost her gentle smile and no longer puts up her hand in class. Then the twins discover her secret: she is to be married off to her uncle's friend, who drinks heavily and is old enough to be her grandfather. While Winifred has become resigned to her fate, her friends are determined to put a stop to the marriage. But what can they do? They ask the advice of Ifwafwa, the snake man, who promises to think about the problem. Ifwafwa is wise and has a gift with snakes, but he does not like to hurry and Bul-Boo becomes impatient. Will he be too late to save their friend?

Categories: Fiction

For readers aged: 9+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781406327922
  • Published: 03 Mar 2011
  • Price: £5.99
  • Size: 198 x 129 mm
  • Pages: 208

More to explore...

  • The-Sleeping-Baobab-Tree
  • The-Butterfly-Heart

More books for age 9+

  • Louisiana-s-Way-Home
  • The-City-of-Guardian-Stones
  • Lucky-Button
  • Never-Say-Die
  • Race-to-the-Bottom-of-the-Sea

Customer reviews


'...her portrait of the children’s woefully ignorant teacher, Sr Leonisa, is convincing and hilarious – if ignorance were not so tragic.' Irish Times

'A beautifully written debut - transporting the reader into the heart of Zambia. Leyden has created an epic tale, with mesmeric voices, suspenseful narrative and vivid imagery. One to watch!' Bookfest, CBI

'A story with humour, charm and mystery' Books for Keeps

Write your own review

By submitting a review you grant us the right to display and use it in any way; please read our General Legal Notices for full details. If you are under 16, please obtain your parent/guardian’s permission before submitting or ask your parent/guardian to submit on your behalf.



Find a local retailer:

  • Awards:

The Butterfly Heart Website:

Also available in:


Recently viewed