So, who solved the mystery of the monarch butterfly migration?
Was it white Canadian scientist Fred, or was it the Indigenous people of the Sierra Madre mountains in central Mexico who had known for centuries about the monarchs’ “secret” winter roosting place? This lively account relates the 30-year efforts of thousands of volunteers of all ages to piece together clues. From tagging the fragile wings of the intrepid butterflies to physically tracking their flight, people across the North American countries of Canada, the United States, and Mexico joined together to decipher the puzzle of “one of the longest known insect migrations on Earth.” The chained answers to Pincus’ question “Where do they go?” guide readers along the riveting path of scientific discovery that finally culminated in 1976 in the oyamel fir groves of Mexico. Imamura’s colorful illustrations successfully capture the multiracial and multinational throng that was instrumental in unraveling the mystery of the monarchs’ epic journey. The butterflies flutter gracefully over almost every page, sometimes singly and sometimes in joyous festoons. The backmatter gives a more detailed history and suggested projects to help sustain the majestic monarchs. Although the then-billions of monarchs have now dwindled to millions since 1976 because of insecticides and habitat destruction, Pincus ends the book on an optimistic note, encouraging the participation of us all in helping these “winged wonders” to not only survive, but thrive.
A fascinating and inspiring STEAM-driven tale. (Informational picture book. 5-11)