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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

The Monarch Butterfly: New Migrant by Annemarie Florian

This big, beautiful butterfly has won people's hearts the world over. Now author Annemarie Florian has used the power of the picture book to engage and introduce readers to the monarch butterfly.

Florian explains pollination, migration, hibernation and the transformation of this incredible insect. She walks us through the life cycle of the butterfly in a lyrical way, showing younger readers how to present information in a compelling and interesting way.

This book gets more and more fascinating the more you read it. The verse, artwork and supporting information work in harmony. There are a multitude of ways for readers to move through the story - it echoes ones of Florian's other books, Kiwi: The Real Story with a poetical element to it.

Aimed at upper primary school students, the book links to the key competencies and achievement objectives of the New Zealand Curriculum. It will be a wonderful resource in any school, as Florian provides readers with a rich starting point for further exploration. It's surprising to me that there aren't more books about this butterfly given how popular they are as a subject to observe and study in our educational centres.

Illustrator Alistair Hughes has created beautiful artwork to accompany the book. His delicate, detailed and accurate butterflies are gorgeous - especially the native butterflies that flutter across the first two pages of the book. Hughes's use of negative space and scale is superb.

The Monarch Butterfly: New Migrant is a fantastic example of a creative nonfiction picture book. Rich in content, language and information, it will spark childrens' curiosity, interest and wonder.

Reviewed by Rebekah Lyell

White Cloud Books, RRP $27.99


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