Monarch's Progress, The
"Drawn in part from the veteran author's own experiences, this deeply felt tale takes readers to 1972 Uganda where, shortly after coming to power, Idi Amin gave all Indians and citizens of Indian descent just 90 days to leave the country. ... Readers will feel her inner conflict sharply, admire her resilience and quick thinking—and come away shocked themselves by the brutality she encounters during this little-known historical episode."
"Each of the poems is accompanied by a vibrantly colorful illustration that exemplifies the stages and flight of the butterfly as described. Not only are some of the poems written in various poetic forms, but these forms also determine the shape of the poems, which the author purposefully selects to better illustrate the motions and habits of the Monarch butterflies. Once young readers are introduced to this work, they will find themselves reading each of the poems, attracted by the use of the bold, attractive font, as well as the size and color of the illustrations. The book concludes with a section that describes in more detail what occurs during each of the stages or activities of the butterfly written about in each poem. The author includes factual details, which enhance the poetry thus making it a great springboard for both the study of science and insects and the creative writing process."
—Library Media Connection
"Harley celebrates the beauty and life cycle of monarchs in 18 poems written in a variety of forms and illustrated with realistic, sometimes impressionistic, colored-pencil drawings. ... This collection offers versatile uses for poetry reading, writing lessons, or introducing natural-history units."
—School Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews offers a favorable review of Avis Harley's The Monarch's Progress in its January 15, 2008 issue:"Using a variety of poetic forms and devices, Harley follows monarch butterflies through a cycle of development and migration. ... The painted illustrations are attractive—it's hard to portray monarchs otherwise— and accurate. Young poets and naturalists should both be drawn to this."
In the February 15, 2008 issue of Booklist, reviewer Carolyn Phelan writes of Avis Harley's The Monarch's Progress:"Cleverly written with obvious attention to craft, the poetry varies in form from rhymed couplets to acrostic verse to haiku and explores topics such as the physical differences between the larval and adult stages, the way monarch wings look when magnified, and the usefulness of having taste sensors in one’s feet. Accompanying each poem is a color-pencil drawing, often featuring precise lines and intense hues. ... This attractive poetry collection could be useful in either the science or language-arts curriculum."