Mr. McGinty's Monarchs

Mr. McGinty and his dog Sophie love checking in on the monarch caterpillars and butterflies on their summer walks. But one day Mr. McGinty is shocked to find that all the milkweed in town has been mowed down! And monarch caterpillars, he explains, can't survive without milkweed. Can Mr. McGinty come up with a plan to save the monarchs? This is a tale that is informative, a call to action, and a sweet story time pick.

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Interest Level Grade 1 - Grade 4
Reading Level Grade 2
Dewey [E]
Lexile AD590L
ATOS Reading Level 4.3
Guided Reading Level K
Language English
Publisher Sleeping Bear Press
Available Formats Hardcover (9781585366125), Paperback (9781585369805), PDF (9781634707985), Hosted ebook (9781634708104)
Copyright 2016
Number of Pages 32
Dimensions 10 x 10
  • 2016 Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award Honorable Mention

Kirkus Reviews - Mr. McGinty's Monarchs

Mr. McGinty and his dog, Sophie, perform a heroic monarch rescue. When the monarch caterpillars’ host plants on the roadside are cut down, Mr. McGinty gathers the tiny creatures, houses them properly in aquariums, and shares them with schoolchildren who nurture them until they grow into butterflies and can fly away. This simple storyline serves as an introduction to the monarch life cycle for very young readers and listeners. Beginning with endpapers showing the monarch life cycle, a variety of other butterflies, a few children’s drawings, and an artfully placed ticket to a zoo butterfly pavilion, cheerful and detailed illustrations (probably watercolor and ink) enliven the story and add important information. One page shows the well-equipped aquarium (the word “terrarium” is never used). On another, a series of vignettes demonstrates a monarch’s journey from tiny caterpillar to chrysalis to the still-weak, just-emerged butterfly, providing a climactic moment. This is followed by two celebratory scenes: Mr. McGinty, Sophie, the children, and their teachers go to a park to release their now-strong butterflies and a double-page spread is filled with monarchs flying away. Finally, two pages of backmatter clearly and simply explain the relationship between monarchs and their milkweed host plants and the monarch migration. Even this text is aimed at young readers. An appealing and appropriate addition to the nature shelf in the preschool and early elementary grades. (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Author: Linda Vander Heyden

Linda Vander Heyden has always loved quiet country and woodlands. As a child, she spent summers at her family’s cabin, fascinated by frogs and dragonflies (but not the pinching ants). Her love of nature and animals has inspired many of her stories and poems. Linda lives in the country with her husband, two dogs, three cats, and a horse named Jack!

Illustrator: Eileen Ryan Ewen

Illustrator Eileen Ryan Ewen was born into a family of artists who fostered her love of story- telling through pictures. She earned a BFA in Painting from Miami University (Ohio) and an MFA in Creative writing from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She is also the illustrator of Miss Colfax’s Light (SBP, releasing March 2016). She lives in St. Louis with her family.

Narrator: Adam Weber

  • Beginning of text
  • Monarchs and Milkweed
  • A Monarch’s Migration
Author/Illustrator biography