The Adventures of Johnny Butterflyseed
by Tarisa Parrish
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Pub Date 04 May 2021 | Archive Date 30 Sep 2022
Darcie Rowan PR, Post Hill Press
Johnny Butterflyseed & His Fairy Friend Inspire Kids to Become Butterfly Farmers to Save the Monarchs from Extinction in Ecologically Responsible Illustrated Children’s Book
“The monarch butterfly is in peril and spiraling downward. This delightful book should be on the bookshelf of every child! Tarisa Parrish has seamlessly woven fact with fiction to create a story of importance, charisma, and hope for monarch butterflies in the future.” —Dr. David G. James, Associate Professor of Entomology, Department of Entomology, Washington State University
Save the monarchs! Become a Butterfly Farmer at Home!
Johnny Butterflyseed and his fairy friend, Raven Silverwing, embark on a mission to save the rapidly disappearing butterflies. They enlist the help of Queen Venus Goldwing and her kingdom of monarchs to educate and inspire kids to become butterfly farmers. At first, Johnny faces his own internal struggle with self-doubt and fear in his ability to make a difference, but then soon develops a mindset that allows him to not only get started, but also make progress one day at a time. Through challenge after challenge, Johnny learns that he is not alone in his mission and that there are many people who want to help. Together, Johnny, Raven, and Queen Venus educate thousands of children on becoming butterfly farmers.
About the Author:
Tarisa Parrish is known as an accomplished butterfly farmer. She and her partner, Michael Vera, live in central Florida and own an online education and retail store called Johnny Butterflyseed (johnnybutterflyseed.com). The site engages new butterfly farmers, teaching them about the butterfly lifecycles, growing butterfly gardens, and how to get involved with nonprofit organizations focused on saving butterflies. Tarisa prides herself on being a citizen scientist with a lifetime passion for nature, as well as a powerful advocate for its preservation and the saving of endangered species. She is also a seasoned executive with expertise in business transformation, M&A integration, innovation, change management, and leadership development. Currently a consultant, Tarisa was previously an executive at Best Buy for nearly a decade, where she was a key leader in the transformation of the company.
Advanced Praise for The Adventures of Johnny Butterflyseed
“A lovely and accurate ecological message for current and future generations. These connections to nature, as crucial to our own wellbeing as humans on this planet, are expressed with thoughtfulness and creativity in this story.” —Sam Henderson, Mayor, City of Gulfport, FL, Signatory of the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge
“Overreliance on pesticides have driven Monarch butterflies to the edge of extinction. They must be protected under federal law, under the Endangered Species Act, and we as a society must reject the chemical industry’s future for our food, and instead adopt a more sustainable one. Ms. Parrish’s book does vital public service in teaching the next generation these important lessons.” —George Kimbrell, Legal Director, Center for Food Safety
“I had a monarch butterfly once that I raised just like Johnny Butterflyseed did! I really enjoyed the story of saving the monarch butterflies and teaching other kids how to raise and care for them. I think monarch butterflies are important because they are so beautiful and teach us about our world.” —Isla McKinnon, Age 8, Minnesota
“Many of my earliest childhood memories include butterflies teasing me in the air as they remained just beyond my reach. By the time I was in college, they were a rare sighting. Johnny Butterflyseed’s adventures remind us of the need and the protection we must provide to see butterflies become prolific once again! I applaud the comfortable, engaging way this book provides to secure that certain future!” —Bill Mutz, Mayor, City of Lakeland, FL, Signatory of the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge
“The monarch butterfly is in peril and spiraling downward. Our children will determine whether the monarch makes a comeback or becomes one of North America’s rarest butterflies. It is vitally important that children are aware of the problems that monarchs face and how we can all help—even children. This delightful book does exactly that and should be on the bookshelf of every child! Tarisa Parrish has seamlessly woven fact with fiction to create a story of importance, charisma, and hope for monarch butterflies in the future.” —Dr. David G. James, Associate Professor of Entomology, Department of Entomology, Washington State University
“The monarch is in trouble. We need help saving our disappearing butterflies. At Save Our Monarchs Organization, our goal is to restore natural monarch butterfly habitats by planting milkweed seeds and bringing back the monarch population. We could not be more delighted with the beautiful story Tarisa Parrish brings to life in The Adventures of Johnny Butterflyseed, because it helps children understand what can be done to help save the monarch butterfly. She beautifully weaves a tale that brings fantasy and fact into a clear message that empowers children to help restore the natural habitat and ultimately save our monarchs! This book makes an excellent gift for any child who loves butterflies.” —Ward Johnson, Founder, Save Our Monarchs Organization
“The Adventures of Johnny Butterflyseed is a beautiful and magical story every child must read! This book shows kids how to have a dream and work toward it, the importance of getting help from others and working together to accomplish our goals, and how to hold a vision for a better, more sustainable future. It’s a must read!” —Jaya Jaya Myra, Bestselling Author and Mind Body Wellness Expert
“Reading Tarisa Parrish’s book The Adventures of Johnny Butterflyseed brought me back to first grade, where my teacher Mrs. Bum Gardner taught our class how to raise the Monarch butterfly. Little did I know, this experience would begin a lifelong passion and become my profession! The simple lessons in life that are so beautifully explained in the story can change the world of the Monarch butterfly. Butterfly Dan’s Farm will proudly display the book where thousands of children will have the opportunity to be inspired by the story!” —Dan Dunwoody, Founder and Owner of Butterfly Dan’s, Kissimmee, Florida
Book Blog Review Tour happening November 1 through December 21, 2021
Nationally-Syndicated and NPR Radio Interviews
Milkweed Seed and Book Giveaways
Great for Families, Library Days, School Projects
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 13 members
The United States is a nation not known for its love of monarchs - in fact, its very existence is due to overturning one. Whether that historical lack of respect has any bearing on the plight of the present day monarch butterfly is an open question, but these are modern day monarchs which are suffering every bit as much as King George 3rd did with his mystery illness. They're just suffering in a different way.
With the solid words of Parrish, based on real-life experience, and the beautiful art of Richoll and her charming butterfly girls, this book tells a short story of how every one of us can become a 'butterfly farmer' and help grow the milkweed that in turns grows the monarchs, and will help them recover from farming practices that have not been the monarch's friend - nor the friend to a host of other wildlife either.
For me the language of the story was a bit overly-florid at times, but it was about flowers and butterflies after all, so I guess I can't complain about that! I did love the story, and especially the can-do positivity, as well as the idea that everybody can pitch in here, and I fully commend this as a worthy read.
It was interesting to learn so much about butterflies and how to support their population, but this is definitely more of an enrichment book than a story book. The amount and density of the text make it most appropriate for middle-grade students even though it includes characters and art that are picture book-style. Still, it might be an accessible introduction to conservation for older students and is certainly worth a try!
Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review.
This fun fictionized educational book about saving Monarch butterflies represents a true crisis and is a call to action for all kids. I loved the story about the Monarch Queen Venus, Raven Monarch, and the human boy named Johnny Butterflyseed, who wanted to save the Monarch butterflies before they became further endangered. Johnny, a butterfly farmer, educates the children in local schools how to become a butterfly farmer. The illustrations are beautiful, bright, and colorful. The names of the characters were creative and fun.
My four-year-old daughter captured a caterpillar, watched it throughout Its’ life cycle, then released the beautiful Monarch butterfly. This was a beautiful experience for her and her Grammy to share. I know that the book is designed for 8 to 11 year-olds but I believe that younger children can also participate with a little adult help. I don’t know of a child who doesn’t like butterflies.
This book could be used in elementary schools as part of an entomology module. Libraries could have a “Butterfly Day” where they planted milkwood seeds. Additionally, this book would be a wonderful addition to any child’s home library.
I champion the author for her involvement in this ecological crisis. If we don’t take care of our world, we won’t have a world left to take care of.
I received this advanced reader’s copy from Author Tarisa Parrish, Illustrator Stephanie Richoll, Post Hill Press, and NetGalley. This is a voluntary review, and all comments and opinions are entirely my own.
I'm torn on how to best review this title because I think there was a bit of disconnect with the targeted audience and how the content was presented.
BUT- I do think there are multiple ways that the issues I found can be overlooked because Tarisa really brought such depth and a truly important message into The Adventures of Johnny Butterflyseed.
My main critique is that the book initially seemed geared towards younger children- but upon reading, the language, amount of text and overall themes are (in my opinion) better suited for kids middle aged and older. I think that with the author's background and ties to education/preservation, reading through Johnny's adventures felt more formal than I'm used to for a book geared towards children.
I enjoyed the storyline- weaving humans, fairies and butterflies together to promote conservation and education in a fun (but also serious) way. I learned a lot about how Monarch butterflies are endangered and how we can work together to become advocates of change.
A lot of technical detail was provided which is why I would recommend it more for an older audience- and I think it would be suuuper fun to pair it with a creative lesson plan with milkweed or caterpillars. The art was beautiful, but I found it to closely resemble what I'd find in a graphic novel- not a children's picture book.
Overall I enjoyed this charming and informative book from a REAL LIFE BUTTERFLY FARMER- I mean, how cool is that? This book would be great for all ages in general- it can be skimmed down to be a bedtime story for young kiddos until they're able to understand the bigger concepts that would be more engaging for older readers. Even though I felt conflicted with the intended audience, I do think it's pretty neat that even with that disconnect that I noticed- the book is a lot more versatile!
Thank you to Netgalley, Tarisa and the publisher for allowing me to read and review this!
This is a fun and wonderful story for the little ones! It was a fun adventure following Johnny and Raven as they try to make a difference and help save the butterflies! The illustrations are bright and colorful! They will easily grab the little ones attention! It's great teaching the kids about the environment and teaching them ways to get involved! And with summer coming it would be fun for the kids to see their own milkweed plants grow!
This book tells the story of Johnny Butterflyseed, a man who loves butterflies and is deeply saddened when notices that there are much fewer butterflies this year in his butterfly garden than in past years. He talks with his fairy friend (who looks like a monarch butterfly) and she helps him figure out what to do. The strategies discussed are all strategies that anyone can do in their community. Despite Johnny's apprehension and feelings of premature defeat when facing this perceived failure, this book demonstrates that there is no challenge too big when communities come together. There is so much great information about butterflies and how to protect them. The book is made up of alternating pages of full colour illustrations and blank white pages with black text. The font is easy to read, fairly large and well spaced on the page. There are some more challenging words but I would guess that it is written around a grade 3 level. I would recommend this book to parents and teachers of children in the age 6-12 range. As a grade 3 teacher I could definitely see this book in my classroom library. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book!
With monarchs on the endangered species list this book has never been more important. Raven Silverwing and Queen Venus Goldwing made this book into an unexpected fairytale.
This book is inspiring and uplifting that we can save the butterflies. It addresses habitat loss and the effects of herbicides on the butterfly population, and offers solutions on how we can help.
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