Elspeth Lorraine

Book Reviews

March 29, 2024

"Milkweed for Monarchs" By Christine Van Zandt Illustrated by Alejandra Barajas

Hopefully it’s no surprise that Monarch butterflies were recently listed as a vulnerable species. Which is not great news, but what IS great news? People like Christine, Alejandra, me and now YOU can make a difference!

This beautiful book takes the reader through the life cycle of the monarch and gives us the knowledge of what monarchs need to survive. Of course with pollution, extreme deforestation, logging etc… It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But even something as simple as planting milkweed in your yard, garden or patio helps! This text has the best of both worlds using quatrains to tell us the story of a mama monarch laying eggs and showing the cycle of the eggs to adult butterflies. But there is also informational text throughout with facts and sciencey (is that a word?) stuff.

Bits and Pieces: I reviewed an advance copy so I don’t know Alejandra’s art medium, but she also illustrated a great book called “A Costume for Charly” that I’d recommend. The backmatter is excellent and the publisher also included a teacher’s guide. The author’s note shares why Christine became interested in this topic and what lead her to write this book. 

Not Sure About: This isn’t a groundbreaking topic, but Christine made it fun and interesting nonetheless! 

Favorite Part: I didn't know the difference between a male and a female monarch and now I do! You’ll have to read to find out how to tell them apart, I'm not telling. The attention to detail with the chrysalis phase is especially good and you know I love vivid colors.

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