Mirabella the Monarch book, bookmark and cookie

Mirabella the Monarch’s Magical Migration

A story about a miraculous journey and inspiring the next generation

Illustrated by Parker Woods Montessori elementary school.
Illustration of monarch butterflies flying through the clear blue sky.

Synopsis: Every year the monarch butterflies undertake the most amazing migration on Earth. Over the course of four generations, they travel from Canada to Mexico and back. This is an educational story about their challenging journey and the inspirational story of how one generation can inspire the next to make the world a better place.

Update: We donated over 559 books (and counting) to students, teachers, schools and libraries. And we had dozens of extra-curricular activities, like the Glow Show.

Monarch butterfly made of people school photo
The Parker Woods Montessori Monarch butterfly (made of people) school class photo. Note: this image quality isn’t good enough for reproduction. Please contact me for the original.

More about this book: This children’s chapter book is full of rich, conceptual drawings that complement a story that grew and grew as the students continued to inspire me to write new pages to match their wonderful drawings. It is a particularly important book, I’m glad to see that being green is a topic that finally has finally reached critical mass in the mainstream consciousness. And Mirabella the Monarch illustrates many subjects from metamorphosis to migration to a passion for making the world a better place. The book also includes a page of challenges to help kids find hidden surprises in the story.

The mission of the Montessori schools is: “Montessori is a method of education that is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play. In Montessori classrooms, children make creative choices in their learning, while the classroom and the teacher offer age-appropriate activities to guide the process.” Therefore this project gave the students the opportunity to apply these principals to their learning and everyday life—literally creating a dream and turning it into a reality. This project also sowed a lot of collateral creations, such as: place and character naming contest, butterfly gardens, musical theme songs for the characters in the book, the class photo pictured above, illustrator book signing, reading month, mosaic tile wall, Glow Show black light art display, and best of all a giant book celebration where the student illustrators signed their page for all the staff, students and community members. It was incredible.

Here is a short slideshow about the project at Parker Woods Montesorri by art teacher Suzanne Nall. It was used to introduce the project parents.

Read about the step-by-step creation of this book.

Educational and Inspirational

Every book in the Make-A-Book project has two main themes: it’s both educational and inspirational. You can see a little of both in the pages below.

Mirabella The Monarch Page ii
This is page is called a decorative “endpaper” in bookmaking. If you look closely, you can see these are actually the outlines of the hands of kindergarteners decorated like butterflies. One of the kids thought of this himself and then we all did it.
Mirabella The Monarch Page 62
This is an illustration of the winter habitat of the monarch butterflies. Sometimes, we find examples online of our subject matter. This was a tough one that turned out better than I expected and better than I could have wished.
Mirabella The Monarch Page 73
To start, students just get a piece of paper with a sentence or sometimes just a word. Then I stand back and wait for inspiration to strike. This student did a brilliant job of adding a whole new level of meaning. That’s what makes a great illustration — it does the work that the words can’t do.
Mirabella the Monarch Challenges, activities to encourage interacting with the book and educational material.
Mirabella the Monarch Challenges, activities to encourage interacting with the book and educational material, including a page to draw your own picture and another to create your own caption.


Thanks to the 559 students and their parents. Thanks to the staff of Parker Woods Montessori; in particular, principal Whitney Simmons for her commitment to educating not only students but staff and parents, the art teacher Suzanne Nall for her artistic vision that is apparent in every illustration, PTO member and project coordinator Nuria Lopez, who’s desire to make the world a better place for our children fueled every step, dedicated parent Allyson Stone-Weil for the bookmarks and helping whenever needed, teacher Beth Schlick for organizing the celebration events, Jodi Weber for writing the grant and photos by teacher and lepidopterist Judy Ganance. Finally, thanks to the dozens of other volunteers that supported the project at each step. Hopefully, I honored everyone along the way.

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Author: Scott Stoll
Publisher: The Argonauts 
ISBN-13: 978-0982784266
Publication: First edition. © May 11, 2017
Language: English 
Pages: 108

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