Señorita Mariposa

Book review by
Monica Encarnacion, Common Sense Media
Señorita Mariposa Book Poster Image
Beautiful bilingual rhyming book about a monarch's journey.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Kids learn about the butterfly life cycle and the monarch butterfly's annual migration: facts, their journey south, their role in pollination, their struggles, and the importance of protecting our planet.

Positive Messages

Illustrations and author's note offer strong messages about the importance of caring for our planet and protecting the monarchs and their habitat.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Illustrations depict children caring for monarchs and taking part in conservation.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Señorita Mariposa, by Ben Gundersheimer, is a wonderful story about a monarch butterfly whose extraordinary 3,000-mile journey spans the United States, Mexico, and Canada. This captivating and colorful book is beautifully illustrated by Marcos Almada Rivero. It introduces kids to the butterfly life cycle, explains the annual migration of monarch butterflies, and fosters consciousness about the importance of protecting our planet. This bilingual book includes rhyming text in child-friendly fonts that make it easy to follow and easy for kids to read.

Señorita Mariposa was originally a bilingual song by Ben Gundersheimer (also known as Mister G, a Latin GRAMMY award winning children's musician, activist, and teaching artist) and part of his Mariposa Project. It was later turned into a children's book and released in conjunction with Gundersheimer's 11th album, "Beyond Borders." His spirited bilingual performances aim to dissolve borders and foster cross cultural connections.  You can learn more at the website.

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What's the story?

SENORITA MARIPOSA is an inspiring story about a monarch butterfly's incredible 3,000-mile migration from Canada, through the United States, to Mexico and back. Rhyming text appears in English at the top, in large print, with its Spanish translation featured in a smaller font immediately below. On some pages the languages switch prominence, displaying the Spanish text in the larger font and English in the smaller one below it. At the end of the book, an author's note in English includes facts on the round-trip journey. Author Ben Gundersheimer speaks of the '"super generation" that makes the long trek south (individual monarchs don't complete the entire round trip; during the northward migration, females lay eggs for a subsequent generation). He also explains how their migration helps our planet through pollination and makes a call to action for readers to protect monarchs, since they are slowly losing their habitats.

Is it any good?

This poetic bilingual story beautifully captures the journey of a monarch butterfly and shows the hardships it endures during its lifetime. Author Ben Gundersheimer's use of short rhyming sentences, and easy-to-read fonts makes this an engaging text for young readers. Señorita Mariposa is an excellent story to read with kids as an introduction to the migration of monarch butterflies and conservation. And it's a great story to share in two languages, as you can easily take turns reading with your kid in English and Spanish.

Author Ben Gundersheimer's text that reads like a love poem of admiration and respect for the millions of monarch butterflies that make this annual trek south. Almada Rivero's warm illustrations showcase all the beautiful places a monarch butterfly will travel during its 3,000 mile journey  -- "over mountains capped with snow, to the deserts down below." 


Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the butterfly life cycle and the long journey that monarch butterflies take each year from Canada to Mexico. What are some challenges that monarchs face as they travel south in Señorita Mariposa?

  • Start a dialogue about the importance of caring for our planet. What simple things can we do to protect the monarch butterflies? How do monarchs help the planet through pollination as they migrate?

  • Have you ever seen a monarch butterfly? Or other types of butterflies? Where can you find butterflies? Where do monarch butterflies live? Visit a local butterfly garden or butterfly conservatory to learn more.



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