WINGS IN THE MEADOW by Jo Brewer

WINGS IN THE MEADOW

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The beauty of any living thing is only as profound as the interest of the observer."" John C. Downey remarks in his preface to Jo Brewer's story of the life of Danaus, the Monarch butterfly. Observer Brewer brings Danaus' beauty, indeed the beauty and determination of the life cycle, to the reader in this specific reconstruction. It begins when Danaus' mother comes to Mr. Stevens' meadow and lays the egg that holds Danaus on a milkweed leaf, proceeds through his manifestation as a larva, a caterpillar, and ultimate transformation into a butterfly. Miss Brewer details these processes, and the behavior she cannot explain she speculates upon... what, one wonders, causes Danaus and his like to fly at the close of summer, and why the carelessness over predation when solitary care has been so great? Danaus is a casualty on a Massachusetts beach after two months and seventeen days of life, in which he has flown 400 miles, fertilized 1700 eggs of which seventy-five will release the new generation to begin the hazardous journey toward maturity. Not a scientist's book, but for the amateur, a new vista on the world of nature to appreciate and share. The rather simplistic human story and philosophizing do not add.

Pub Date: Aug. 29th, 1967
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin