Monarchs on the Move: Traveling Butterflies by Susumu Shingu
ONE DAY IN THE SHORT SUMMER OF A COUNTRY UP NORTH
A TINY CREATURE WAKES UP INSIDE AN EGG AS SMALL AS A DEWDROP.
Butterflies are an almost universal symbol for fragile beauty.
With light, diaphanous wings, feeding on the nectar of fragile summer blossoms, living short lives as winged creatures, they are part of the brief, bright beauty of summer in northern climes. But that is not their only home. When that special autumn comes, they hear the call and go...
RIDING THE SOUTHWARD WIND.
But the full story of the Monarch butterfly is an amazing one of hardiness and almost magical navigational powers. Despite their seeming delicate wings, they migrate in gradually growing bands, flying 2500 miles from the United States and Canada to a small area of Mexico's mountains where they winter over.
Susumu Shingu's lovely and lyrical picture book, Traveling Butterflies (OwlKids Books, 2015) is an inspiring introduction to this amazing creature for the youngest readers and naturalists. In gorgeous two-page spreads, Shingu's art paints the story of this amazing animal as it passes through the stages of its metamorphosis from hungry caterpillar to its amazing transformation into an insect that belies its fanciful looks to fly over enormous land masses and ocean stretches in its journey.
Shingu shows Monarchs sipping nectar and fluttering valiantly, overflying Niagara Falls and big cities, weathering summer storms and following streams to the warm and verdant tropical forest destination that they all seek.
THE TREES ARE TURNING A DEEPER AND DEEPER ORANGE.
HUDDLING CLOSE, THEY SLUMBER IN PEACE...
UNTIL THEY TAKE OFF AGAIN.
For youngters, Shingu's gentle narration and glorious illustrations catch the wonder of the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly in an appreciation for the marvels of this endangered creature. In an appended note, "More About Monarch Butterflies," the author describes a biological curiosity that depends on special generations of the usually short-lived butterfly that make the long trip south and subsequent offspring who make the trip back in several generations to follow. As a first book to introduce the butterfly and animal migration to preschool students, this one is a first choice.
Preface it, of course, with Eric Carle's classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.