María the Monarch

An extraordinary trip to the kingdom of the monarch by Homero Aridjis (MEXICO)

Informs young readers about the life of monarch butterflies, their habitat, and the efforts to save them from extinction.


Illustrated by Juan Palomino
Translated by Eva Aridjis

Each year, in the Mexican town of Contepec, migrating Monarch butterflies spend the winter in the temperate forests of Mexico. This children’s book is an adventure story about two courageous cousins Eréndira and Corina. With the help of their community as well as Maria the Monarch butterfly, who speaks to them in their dreams, they save the lives of millions of Monarch butterflies threatened by illegal logging and traffickers of wild animals. Together they help preserve the natural and cultural wealth of their homeland.

In an afterword “The Monarch: A Tireless Traveler” Betty Ferber describes the life and evolution of the Monarch butterfly, its migration from North to South America, and the establishment of the sanctuaries in Mexico and the laws that protect them.

Homero Aridjis, one of Latin America's greatest living writers and environmental activists, is the author of forty-eight books of poetry and prose, including Eyes to See Otherwise (New Directions), Solar Poems (City Lights), and 1492: The Life and Times of Juan Cabezón of Castile (University of New Mexico Press).

Juan Carlos Palomino won first place in the IV Catalog of Iberoamerican Illustration in 2013 for his illustrations for Samir and Yonatan, published by Ediciones Castillo.

Eva Aridjisis a filmmaker whose prize-winning films include Taxidermy: The Art of Imitating Life and Billy Twist, which played at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2003, she filmed Niños de la Calle (Children of the Streets), bringing attention to Mexico City's poverty epidemic.

Betty Ferber is the International Coordinator of the environmentalist collective, Grupo de los Cien (Group of One Hundred) and translator of Homero Aridjis's books.

Praise for María the Monarch

"I highly recommend this extraordinary trip to the kingdom of the monarch.” Dr. Lincoln Brower, Sweet Briar College, the world's leading expert on the Monarch Butterfly.

October 2017 | 64 pp
978-1-942134-33-6 W | Trade Paper | $12.99
Color illustrations throughout
Ages 8 to 12