Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Mr. McGinty's Monarchs

Mr. McGinty's Monarchs

Linda Vander Heyden
Illustrator:  Eileen Ryan Ewen 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Sleeping Bear Press, 2016   ISBN: 978-1585366125

On summer afternoons Mr. McGinty and his dog Sophie go for long walks. They admire the monarch butterflies that are laying their eggs on that milkweed plants that are growing alongside the road.

One morning, as summer is beginning to wind down, Mr. McGinty and Sophie take their walk only to find that the milkweed plants have been cut down. Mr. McGinty examines the plants and sees that the monarch caterpillars are still clinging to the dying plant stems and leaves.

Quickly Mr. McGinty dashes home, he loads up a wagon with glass jars, and then hurries back to the place where the milkweed plants now lie, crushed and broken. Carefully he gathers up the caterpillars and places them in the jars. A lot of people going by think that Mr. McGinty is crazy for caring about “some fancy worms,” but he doesn’t care about what they say.

Mr. McGinty then buys some aquariums and creates habitats for the caterpillars that he saved. Once all the caterpillars have been relocated and have fresh milkweed leaves to eat, Mr. McGinty sits down and takes a breather. How on earth is he going to be able to take care of so many caterpillars? Mr. McGinty is going to need some help.

In this wonderful book we meet a man who has a love for nature. In particular he admires monarch butterflies, a species of butterfly that has an interesting and very unique story. Children will see how one person, with a little help, can make a big difference, and how rewarding it is to take on the job of being a steward of nature.

At the back of the book readers will find more information about monarch butterflies, and they will learn what we all can do to save these beautiful insects.