A Blanket of Butterflies


No one knows how a suit of samurai armour ended up in the Fort Smith museum. When a mysterious stranger turns up to claim it, Sonny, a young Tłı̨chǫ Dene boy, is eager to help.

Shinobu has travelled to Fort Smith, NWT, to reclaim his grandfather’s samurai sword and armour. But when he discovers that the sword was lost in a poker game, he must confront the man known as Benny the Bank. Along the way, Shinobu must rely on unlikely heroes—Sonny, his grandmother, and a visitor from the spirit world. Together, they face Benny and his men, including the giant they call Flinch.

Will Shinobu be able to regain the lost sword and, with it, his family’s honour? Can Sonny and his grandmother help Shinobu while keeping the peace in their community?

Now in full colour, this new edition includes additional background information and cultural context. Learn about the real-life inspiration behind the story and the intersections between Indigenous and Japanese Canadian experiences during the Second World War.

Get a copy of A Blanket of Butterflies for your library or classroom, or for your own young readers. I really like it and highly recommend it.


Richard Van Camp on his hope for The Spirit of Denendeh feature interview in the Quill & Quire.

– Quill & Quire

The story and messages of honor, respect, peace, and human connection are powerful and moving. Valuable cultural and historical insights...support the story.

– Kirkus Reviews

Among CBC Books 22 Canadian comics we can't wait to read this fall

– CBC Books

A Blanket of Butterflies is a great addition to a high school library's graphic novel collection, a good choice as a supplemental novel for high school English classes, and certainly a must for any Indigenous studies class. Recommended.

– CM Reviews

The connections are mind-blowing...a beautiful book...a fascinating story.

– The Next Chapter

Among CBC Books The Best Canadian Comics of 2022

– CBC Books

This beautiful new edition, illustrated in full colour for the first time, tells the story of a young Dene boy and his grandmother helping a Japanese man recover his grandfather’s armour.

– Active History

Among American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL) Best Books 2022

– American Indians in Children's Literature

A Blanket of Butterflies is a powerful tribute to the ways that different peoples’ cultures and histories have crossed and become connected throughout history. This book has stunning and intricately crafted action sequences.

– 49th Kids

Nominated for YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens List for 2024

– Young Adult Library Association
First Nation Communities READ   | 2023  |  Long-listed