“Sophie the Monarch Butterfly” by Celia Straus

“Sophie the Monarch Butterfly” by Celia Straus 819 1024 Reader Views Kids

Sophie the Monarch Butterfly

Celia Straus    
Leschenault Press (2024)
ISBN: 978-1923020337
Reviewed by Leslie Anne Smith for Reader Views (06/2024)

“Sophie the Monarch Butterfly: Mission to Mexico” follows a precocious monarch butterfly from the moment she hatches to the end of her life cycle, following her journey through many obstacles and challenging the disbeliefs of her community. “Sophie the Monarch Butterfly” is a touching story about believing in yourself and being a leader in your community, while also providing readers with information about monarch butterflies and their annual migration patterns.

I found the message behind this book quite touching. Sophie is a monarch butterfly born with an eye on the back of her wing that helps her navigate during her migration. She is a confident and steadfast character, never doubting herself even when the other butterflies question her abilities to navigate. She faces several dangers during her migration but remains strong and helps her community reach their final destination.

 I think young readers will find inspiration to remain confident in their abilities through Sophie. Far too often children are made to doubt themselves and their abilities, so it is important to have characters that show them the value of believing in themselves and working with their strengths. Everyone can be a valuable leader and part of the community, just like Sophie.

The illustrations by Linda Chambers are charming and visually interesting. She has a unique art style that helps this book stand out and keep the reader’s attention. The use of color was particularly well done, giving life to the story. While there is a certain amount of realism to the art, especially with the praying mantis and spider, Chambers maintains a layer of whimsy as well. The monarch butterflies each look distinct, and the pages where they stay in the Oyamel trees were particularly brilliant.

Additionally, there is a short interactive section at the end that allows young readers to color in their own butterflies. This is a great way to include young readers in further discussions about the book and allow them to use their own imaginations as well. For homeschoolers or traditional school classrooms, this addition could be easily adapted into further activities or small projects, allowing the book to take on new forms of reinforced learning and fun in the classroom. As a bonus, portions of the book’s proceeds will be donated to various organizations that protect monarch butterflies and other endangered species!

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