Children's Literature - Marilyn CourtotThe life cycle and incredible migration of these small creatures are always a source of wonder. Pringle tells it all in a story form that is scientifically accurate and accompanied by the realistic paintings of Marstall. Readers follow Danaus as she develops into adulthood and journeys to her wintering site in Mexico. Sidebars, maps information about protecting habitats and raising monarchs, and a bibliography are part of the package.
School Library JournalGr 4-8Even libraries that already own Ethan Herberman's The Great Butterfly Hunt (S & S, 1990; o.p.), Kathryn Lasky's Monarchs (Harcourt, 1993), and Bianca Lavies's Monarch Butterflies (Dutton, 1993) need this book. It is written as a story, following the life cycle of a female caterpillarDanausfrom an egg laid in a Massachusetts hayfield to her death in an Arkansas pasture many months and a fantastic migration later. The narrative is scientifically sound and includes information from the most recent research on these familiar aerial flitterers. The attractive, oversized book is lavished with realistic, full-color paintings of Monarchs in all stages of their development and their habitats. Colorful sidebars and a variety of maps are accompanied by informative captions, and the whole is arranged into a particularly appealing, readable, and accurate package. A modicum of anthropomorphism does occur, but it is infrequent and low-key. An effort to avoid an onrushing car or the state of a heavily gravid female Monarch with no milkweed in sight may well be "frantic," and these slight slippages are unobtrusive. Following the body of the work are chapters on protecting the remaining winter refuges of these feather-light migrants and on raising Monarchs at home or in the classroom. A list of further readingsmany of them juvenile titlesand an index complete the harmonious whole.Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
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