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Monarch Butterflies Take Flight

by Joan Z. Calder illustrated by Cathy Quiel

Pub Date: May 28th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0983296218
Publisher: Patio Publishing

Calder and Quiel present an engaging, educational and beautifully illustrated story about two monarch butterflies.

The story follows a little girl named Bonnie as she watches monarch butterflies—which she playfully calls airplanes—in her family’s garden. Her mother shows her a place where a butterfly has laid eggs. Bonnie watches the eggs until they hatch, then follows two caterpillars, whom she names Sergio and Stanley, as they grow and change into butterflies. The narrative elegantly teaches the process of metamorphosis from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. Bonnie shares her childlike joy and observations with her parents, promoting curiosity and family togetherness. The pages are packed with fanciful, whimsical watercolors of butterflies, caterpillars, flowers, children and garden life. The illustrations colorfully supplement and enhance the tale, which is a fitting read-aloud for parents and children. Simple enough for a confident young reader, the book would facilitate a fun science lesson for the first- or second-grade classroom. The clear writing explains complex ideas in kid-friendly ways, and the parent-child dialogue is believable. The ideas and writing are too advanced for preschoolers, but they’ll love the pictures anyway. Calder is a horticulturist and garden designer who shares her knowledge well with young readers, who’ll enjoy Quiel’s award-winning artistic style. Backmatter includes information and maps about monarch migration, more monarch facts, web resources and directions to make your own butterfly garden. This section will help parents and teachers further engage kids in backyard nature.

A vibrant, enriching tale that kids will love.