Mr. McGinty's Monarchs

Cover: 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.



  • Dewey: [E]
  • Hardcover (9781585366125): 32 pages, 10 (w) x 10 (h), © 2016, 02/01/2016
  • Paperback (9781585369805): 32 pages, 10 (w) x 10 (h), © 2016, 07/01/2016
  • PDF (9781634707985): 32 pages, 10 (w) x 10 (h), © 2016, 02/01/2016
  • Hosted ebook (9781634708104): 32 pages, 10 (w) x 10 (h), © 2016, 02/01/2016
  • Subject: Language Arts


  • Suggested Interest Level: Age 6 - Age 9
  • Suggested Reading Level: Grade 2
  • Lexile® Measure: 590
  • Guided Reading Level: K
  • ATOS Reading Level: 4.3
  • ATOS Interest Level: LG
  • Accelerated Reader® Quiz: 182263
  • Accelerated Reader® Points: 0.5

BISAC Subjects


  • 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 is the author of Mr. McGinty’s Monarchs and A Horse Named Jack. She understand’s Hannah’s obsession with the perfect sandwich—she remembers racing home from high school at lunch hour to make perfect grilled cheese sandwiches before rushing back to class. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two dogs, two cats, and two horses.

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