Jul 15, 2011

Gotta Go! Gotta Go!

Gotta Go! Gotta Go! (Sunburst Book)

Gotta Go! Gotta Go! by Sam Swope
Illustrated by Sue Riddle

     A creepy-crawly bug comes out of an egg and find herself all alone.  "I don't know much, but I know what I know.  I gotta go! I gotta go! I gotta go to Mexico!"  And so begins the remarkable life cycle of a monarch butterfly.  As a caterpillar, our little heroine crawls away, eating and crawling, outgrowing her skin, and always focused. "I gotta go! I gotta go!! I gotta go to Mexico!" She runs into a grasshopper and an ant who question her mission to get to Mexico; but she's never discouraged."If Mexico is where I'm going, and it is, then however I go, I will get there."  After days of creepy-crawling, she was still nowhere near Mexico, and exhausted she "made herself a bed, tucked herself in tight."  She awakes as a beautiful butterfly and continues her journey, flying over farms, cities, towns, rivers, for miles on end. "She flew and still she cried, 'Mexico! Mexico! I gotta go to Mexico!'"  When she finally makes it, she finds thousands like her turning the landscape the orange color of their wings.  She joins the rest of the butterflies in their winter slumber and wakes up in the spring, falling in love, dancing in pairs.  She begins her journey back and finds a perfect leaf along the way where she lays an egg.  A new creepy-crawly bug comes out.
     Gotta Go! Gotta Go! is a very sweet way of introducing children to the life cycle of the monarch butterfly. Its language makes the science concept of a life cycle accessible to even the youngest kids.  With my son, we discussed the idea of instinct, that the creepy-crawly bug was listening to a little voice inside of her -her instinct- that kept guiding her along the way.  The rhythm and pattern of the story makes it work really well as a read-aloud, and soon the kids will be chanting "Gotta go to Mexico" right along with you.  I also showed my boy a map so we could look at Mexico to highlight how amazing the butterfly journey truly is.  Great book to have at home and to read in the early grades.

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