Flight of the Butterflies | SLJ DVD Review

redstarFlight of the Butterflies. 44 min. Dist. by Shout! Kids Factory. 2016. 3-D Blu-ray/digital copy $19.99 UPC 826663168327. Ultra high definition/3-D Blu-ray/Blu-ray $39.99. 0826663168334.

flight-of-the-butterfliesGr 2 Up –Half biography, half nature documentary, the film follows naturalist Fred Urquhart’s pursuit of the monarch butterflies and their epic migration. Urquhart was a naturalist who became interested in the insects in the 1920s. He spent nearly 40 years searching for the monarchs’ migration destination, and he finally found it, with the help of civilian scientists in Mexico. At the time, there was no easy way for Urquhart to track the migration, so he began tagging the butterflies individually. Over time, he recruited thousands of civilian scientists who would tag and look for butterflies, and once the insects were discovered, the label and location information would be sent to Urquhart so he could track the path. These butterflies have to search to find the right conditions for survival. Monarchs lay their eggs on one plant, the milkweed, and only one percent of their eggs and caterpillars survive to reach adulthood. (Super butterflies can live up to eight times longer than normal butterflies, and these include monarchs.) High up in Mexico’s Cerro Pelon Mountain lies the perfect sanctuary for them. Though the monarchs face many challenges to survival, including deforestation and climate change, they take part in one of the greatest migrations on the planet. The Blu-ray quality enhances the experience; the monarchs, flowers, and scenery look beautiful and incredibly vibrant. VERDICT An excellent film for both science classes and science-minded kids.–Jenny Ventling, Greene County Public Library, OH

This review was published in the School Library Journal September 2016 issue.

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