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Autumn signals that it's time for the migratory flights of the Monarch butterflies. We watch in wonder as they travel through Texas on the way to Mexico. It's an extraordinary experience.
Three generously sized picture books explore the anatomy and life cycle of these winged insects. They include scientific facts as well as flights of fancy.
Explore the Life Journey of One of the Winged Wonders of the World
by Ann Hobbie art by Olga Baumert
Monarch Butterflies offers young readers an in depth look at these "winged wonders of the world." Hobbie doesn't shy away from using precise vocabulary. Spiracles, maxillary palps, cremaster, and proboscis are some of the terms which are accompanied by enlarged illustrations and succinct paragraphs.
Baumert's detailed illustrations present up-close inspection of these insects' anatomy, life cycle, and habitats.
The author devotes a considerable number of pages to ecological patterns, monarch conservation, symbiotic relationships, and caring for the environment. Readers will find information on caring for butterflies, a Glossary, links to educator guides, topics for additional research, and Day of the Dead celebrations.
by Ben Gundersheimer art by Macos Almada Rivero
Artfully composed couplets trace the journey of Señorita Mariposa. Mimicking the butterfly's flight, text in English and Spanish are intertwined. Initially, English, the language spoken in the continent where the flight originates, appears first. Each phrase is followed by a Spanish translation. Midflight, the format changes. At the poem's conclusion each line of poetry is displayed first in Spanish, followed by an English translation.
Supporting matter includes a map tracing the migratory path from Canada to Mexico, an Author's Note, and a link to Gundersheimer's Mariposa Project website.
Rivero's joyful illustrations are awash with color, smiling animals, children with a variety of skin tones, and a wide-eyed monarch butterfly with fancy eyelashes.
Moth & Butterfly: Ta-Da!
by Dev Petty art by Ana Aranda
Petty takes readers into the worlds of two flying insects that have obvious similarities as well as distinct differences. And that's a good thing. Moth & Butterfly: Ta Da! makes clear that both insect classifications are fascinating subjects for investigation.
Aranda uses a riot of color. Butterfly emerges from the chrysalis with an explosion of bright yellow and pink. Moth pops from the cocoon in shades of beige and blue. The effect is stunning.
The final page lists identifying characteristics for moths and butterflies.
Bonus: The end papers are stunning. I wish that I could purchase prints of these bold graphic designs.