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Book Reviews

Mother of Beth Robbins Bontrager

“It’s wonderful! I love it.”

Phyllis Robbins

“I just read your book to Brody and he asked me to read it again. He said “I love this book”. It’s an excellent book Beth and I appreciate you giving it to us. He’s really been struggling with losing his papa and the resulting emptiness he’s feeling. This book couldn’t have been read to him at a better time so thank you very much for giving it to our family. I will share this gem with anyone and everyone that I meet that needs to read it. Thanks again! ”    Can’t wait to read your next book :)”                                                                                  

Patty B.
Wife & Mother, Goshen Indiana

“Butterfly Hugs, A Story from a Grandmother’s Heart” is a tender narrative regarding the inevitable changes involving our journey through life. Author, Beth Robbins Bontrager compassionately brings to the forefront a children’s book, which discusses the challenging topic of life, aging and remembrance through the metaphor of a butterfly.

Many children and adults are ill prepared for a dialogue concerning the theme of life and bereavement.  Few families choose to exchange ideas concerning the awkward subject until it confronts the home.

Beth Robbins Bontrager’s encouraging children’s book is a wonderful resource to guide sincere conversations pertaining to the treasure of memories between loved ones.  The free flowing text brings comfort and hope to the reader and the illustrations by Troy DeLacy Cleland provide a delightful collaboration between art and script.”

Ron Mazellan
Illustrator, Professor of Art
Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion Indiana

“I had the privilege of reading “Butterfly Hugs” while it was still in manuscript form. Beth had asked if our publishing company was interested in publishing her book, but we had not ventured into children’s books yet. However, one read of “Butterfly Hugs” and I found myself debating whether or not it was time for us to make the move into that particular genre. I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to be a part of this fantastic title, but I was afraid we wouldn’t do it justice because of our lack of experience.

Now that I’ve seen it in its published form, I regret not being able to publish it myself, but I am so thankful that Beth pursued this book to printing! She has done a masterful job of helping children (and parents!) unpack the challenges faced in talking about such a difficult subject. The artwork fits the story beautifully and as I’ve been able to get to know Beth, the story reflects the heart of its author, too. If you have children in your life at any level (as a parent, grandparent, teacher, social worker etc…) then you need to have copies of this book on your shelf. You will find it a valuable tool in dealing with something everyone will come face-to-face with in this life. “

Joe Castaneda
Founder | Overboard Ministries


“When Beth asked me to write this, I recalled the many times she spent moments sharing with me her insight and feelings about issues I was involved in addressing. Beth has a special gift that I believe all grandparents can achieve, the desire to “pass it on.” This book is a sample of her desire and commitment to that gift.

The story is familiar to us all, and Beth brings it to a level all can understand; death brings a change. This book is written especially to insist upon the dialogue between one generation and another. It is the dialogue that is vital for this book to succeed. This is not a book to hand to your children and grandchildren. It is meant for dialogue. It is certainly simple enough that children could understand, but it would waste much of its energy without the dialogue that is sure to follow its reading.

In this age when medicine is challenging the frontiers of life, and death is often seen as failure, it is important for us all to see death as a part of life. Death with dignity seems far more difficult to achieve today than ever before. For believers death is the door to eternity and an end to life’s struggles, actually success! Beth captures this beautifully in “Butterfly Hugs.”

This book is also beautifully illustrated. The artwork alone is worth the “reading.” Thanks Troy for putting God’s gifts to such great use! Thanks Beth for writing this legend for us all to share.”

James R. VanCuren, M.D.,
Director of Medical Education, IU Health Goshen


“Butterfly Hugs” is an inspirational children’s book that deals with the difficult subject of death. Children are naturally filled with hope but Beth, in her writing, encourages that hope and gives it ‘wings’ allowing children to ‘see’ death as a transition, as the changes of a butterfly.”

Janet Huffman, Teacher, Minister’s wife, mother of 2 and grandmother of 2.


“The metamorphosis of the butterfly is one of Nature’s most spectacular events. It hardly seems possible that an ugly little worm could someday transform into a magnificent butterfly.

Just as the caterpillar rests in the hope of one day becoming a butterfly, we who are in Christ have the hope of eternal life in God’s presence. In Butterfly Hugs, Beth Robbins Bontrager uses this same analogy as a “heart connection” to teach a child about the transition that her grandmother will one day make.

The story is simple (just like Christ’s teachings), beautifully illustrated and comes straight from the heart of a wise, Godly grandmother. I look forward to future offerings from Beth so that I can share more heart connections with my own grandchildren.”

Christopher Williams, M.Ed., CPP, PMP


“In her first book for children, new and upcoming author, Beth Robbins Bontrager, captures a warm, heartfelt moment between a young girl and her grandmother. Butterfly Hugs is that conversation as the two talk about death and what happens afterwards. Using a butterfly, which alights on the girl, her grandmother explains the different stages of change that occur with death – like the stages a butterfly goes through to become the beautiful creature it is. Suitable for any age, this gentle story will help young and older children alike understand that death does not necessarily mean the end of something – but rather the fulfillment of God’s promises to those who believe and trust in Him. Also included are a number of resources for grief counseling and helpful suggestions for using this story with all children. This is a must-have for anyone who loves reading to and with children; highly recommended.”

Deb Crothers
Librarian, Benton Elementary, Goshen, IN.


“Beth Robbins Bontrager has taken her life experiences and allowed them to fill a need that will help a lot of people in her book “Butterfly Hugs.” This book speaks to end of life issues in a way that will help people deal with death in a calm and peaceful way.

Beth explains dying simply so that young and old alike can understand it by illustrating the process with the caterpillar and the butterfly. Her book has been illustrated well with pictures of what she has written.

I believe the spiritual impact of her book will help many people as they say good bye to loved ones and struggle with a difficult time in life. Beth’s book will help people understand that there are many chapters to a person’s life and her book will help people understand and get through the last chapter of life.

I recommend “Butterfly Hugs” to anyone looking for a heart connection with family and friends in the face of end of life struggles.”

Kim Huffman
Minister, Goshen Christian Church, Goshen Indiana
Author of “30 Pit Stops on the Roman Road” (WestBow Press)


“If your children or grandchildren have ever said to you, “I don’t want you to leave me and die,” Butterfly Hugs is an important resource for you in forming a response. Even if it hasn’t been verbalized, it isn’t safe to assume that this concern hasn’t been on a child’s mind. This book provides the springboard for a calm accepting conversation dealing with the inevitable event that can leave a child devastated if unprepared. Beth writes with loving sensitivity and gentle honesty on a subject that is often avoided for lack of insight on how best to approach it. This work helps prepare children in advance for the potential death of a loved one. And the subject is addressed by the grandmother, so the child learns acceptance from grandma’s matter-of-fact approach. Here is a substantive offering of wisdom that can calm the heart of a child who is questioning or hurting.”

Ruth Miller, Goshen, IN Wife, Mother, Grandmother
Former Executive-Administrative Assistant & Project Coordinator to Local
Organizations, Goshen IN


“Butterfly Hugs” records a sweet encounter between a child and her grandmother, as the older woman explains that Christians need not fear death, since God has provided a way for all who die in Him to live on. This is a message that will resonate with adults as well as children who have experienced the death of a loved one. Hoping that this is the first of many offerings from Beth Robbins Bontrager.

MaryEllen Haney
Mother, Grandmother
Church Secretary

About the Book

Beth Robbins Bontrager has creatively designed this book for use in gently opening conversations between family members about a very difficult and emotional subject. In a world where we find families texting each other while in the same room, Butterfly Hugs is a story reminding us that there are times when a “heart” connection is the most valuable and meaningful way to communicate. A garden where one can see nature in its simple beauty is the setting. The direct, yet gentle truths that are shared from one heart to another with the loving, tender touch of human compassion and concern is the subconscious focus of the story. Beth believes that technology can send information from one person to another, yet it is the human factor that God designed which communicates the true messages of life. Butterfly Hugs is a powerful yet simple story about a grandmother taking the time to share a legacy lesson of her faith,with love,to her granddaughter.