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ISABEL’S HOUSE OF BUTTERFLIES by Tony Johnston

ISABEL’S HOUSE OF BUTTERFLIES

By Tony Johnston (Author) , Susan Guevara (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-87156-409-2

Eight-year-old Isabel, who lives in a small impoverished village in the mountains of Michoacán, Mexico, tells the story of the annual monarch butterfly migration to the magnificent oyamel tree beside her casita. When the butterflies arrive, they are everywhere, and bring joy and tourists with their much-needed money. Isabel’s mother calls them “un milagro”—a miracle. But the butterflies and the trees where they roost are in danger from commercial loggers, and from the villagers who are sometimes forced to sell the trees for firewood. When Isabel overhears her father saying he must chop down their tree (because “. . . we cannot eat butterflies”) she comes up with a plan she hopes will save them. Guevara, whose research took her to Mexico, shows butterflies everywhere in richly colored paintings bordered by heavily textured frames. Undeniably didactic, the story highlights the economic and cultural complexities of preserving endangered species, and provides a welcome complement to the many other books on monarch migration. (Picture book. 6-8)