From School Library Journal
Grade 4-8. Even 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 caterpillar?Danaus?from 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 readings?many of them juvenile titles?and an index complete the harmonious whole.?Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 3^-6. A map of a monarch butterfly's migratory route from Massachusetts to Mexico sets the stage for this exceptional book. Rather than giving the usual survey of the habits, habitat, life cycle, and predators of butterflies, Pringle brings immediacy to his subject by focusing sharply on one monarch, whom he names Danaus. Beginning as an egg on the leaf of a milkweed plant, Danaus goes from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly and makes the long flight to Mexico. There she survives the winter, mates, and flies north to Texas, where she lays her own eggs in a milkweed field. The surprisingly absorbing story of Danaus' life is followed by a discussion of the monarchs' endangered winter refuges in Mexico and an explanation of how to raise monarch butterflies from the caterpillar stage. Throughout the book, Marstall's colorful paintings offer clear, brilliantly colored illustrations of the caterpillars growing, eating, resting, mating, avoiding predators, and flying, flying, flying. An excellent book on a popular species. Carolyn Phelan