Book Review: Monarch Butterflies: Explore the Life Journey of One of the Winged Wonders of the World

Monarch Butterflies is a visual and literary delight. Author Ann Hobbie is the Chair of the board of directors of Monarch Joint Venture. For her first book, she partnered with the extremely talented illustrator Olga Baumert. Baumart moves from photo like accuracy at times, to the super detail of anatomical drawings for clarity, then to story book artistic creativity.

Truly a book for all ages, this is the one you want to read to your grandchildren.

I know from experience what a challenge it is writing for the little ones. You have to sacrifice detail, procedures, and advanced vocabulary for simplicity. But wait! What if you don’t? Why can’t you go from basic ‘the mother monarch makes her egg sticky’ to ‘maxillary palps’? By weaving the simple and the complex together, Hobbie has created a book with something to excite everyone. Adults can choose which parts to read to a young child, then expand them as the child gets older!

There are 22 chapters between the stunning 11 x 11 hard canvas covers. Not every monarch book spends time on Day of the Dead, the Western monarchs, and the insects that share the milkweed patch. In people friendly language and pictures, Hobbs explains why monarchs are in trouble, how monarchs are part of a bigger picture, and how to raise monarchs.

Hobbie has taken the standard Resources section at the end of the book to a new level, by calling it Going Deeper. She chose 6 of the topics in the book, and described where you can get more information. This keeps the body of the book clean of references, and helps the reader decide exactly where to look for the information they are most interested in.

Story Publishing 2021

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