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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Imagine a farm for butterflies. Having enjoyed their yearly trek to our northern rural home, I delight in the idea of creating a pollinator-friendly garden to welcome the butterflies and help them multiply. We need these pollinators and they are in a precarious situation that threatens extinction due to pollution and pesticides. If I were a little girl of eight like Lilly, I would be super-excited to visit my grandmother’s farm, especially if it had a butterfly garden. Lilly’s summer adventure at her grandmother’s is a learning experience about nature and particularly about the multiple stages of butterflies and why they are so important to our environment.
Susan Hathiramani’s children’s short story, Grandma’s Monarch Butterfly Farm, is a journey through the life cycle of one of the prettiest butterflies I’ve ever seen. It’s a fascinating read and while eight-year-old Lilly watches her own caterpillars in her own butterfly house transform into butterflies, the reader learns about the butterfly life cycle and so much more. There are delightful, colorful illustrations to accompany the story, which is told in the first-person narrative from Lilly’s point of view. This will definitely help the young reader associate with the main character, Lilly. The plot develops nicely, beginning with the journey to Grandma’s farm and progressing through Lilly’s increasing knowledge of the monarch butterflies. The story doesn’t end with the summer visit but continues with a Christmas surprise. A beautiful story told with compassion and the ability to entertain while also educating young minds. Even I learned something. This is definitely a story for readers of all ages.