Janey Monarch Seed

Janey Monarch Seed is a gentle tall tale of a girl determined to make a difference for imperiled Monarch butterflies, by planting seeds of milkweeds from Texas to Quebec. It’s a long, tough journey, but one that’s filled with adventure and natural beauty, new friends and big dreams.

Told in simple verse, the story will work as a gentle but lively introduction to monarch biology and ecology, emphasizing habitat needs and our role as active stewards in the natural world. Sidebars add further information and details to engage and expand children’s fascination with butterflies and other pollinators. An afterword completes the story with additional explanation of environmental threats to monarch habitat and suggestions on how to learn more and help them through wildlife-friendly gardening. The afterword also makes explicit for any readers who didn’t recognize it already that Janey’s story parallels that of a true American folk hero, Johnny Appleseed.

Janey Monarch Seed will be a very useful title for classrooms following Common Core and Next Generation Science standards, engaging students in the study of butterfly anatomy and development as well as their basic ecology, particularly habitat needs and migratory patterns. As a playful response to the classic Tall Tale of Johnny Appleseed, it can also be used in language arts and creative writing units and for girls/diversity empowerment. And because its protagonist emphasizes observation and action, it will strongly encourage student engagement in hands-on activities such as experimental plantings and classroom butterfly raising—increasingly common activities in strong programs for early STEM learning. 

Janey will hopefully be a popular book for author or illustrator visits and can be promoted and sold through widely-used educational programs such as Monarch Watch (http://monarchwatch.org/)  and Journey North (http://www.learner.org/jnorth/monarch/).  A particularly relevant monarch education, Monarchs in the Classroom from the University of Minnesota, focuses on K-6 activities including milkweed gardening and monarch pollinator habitat improvement (http://monarchlab.org/education-and-gardening/curricula/), and is used around North America by various organizations such as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (https://usfwsnortheast.wordpress.com/2015/10/30/monarchs-in-the-classroom/). The importance of protecting and restoring milkweed for monarch habitat is recognized by a coalition of government agencies and nonprofit groups that can all be considered potential markets for Janey’s story (http://monarchjointventure.org/about-us/partners/Monarch).

Julie Dunlap is an award-winning author or co-author of several children’s books, and co-editor of two nature anthologies, Coming of Age at the End of Nature and Companions in Wonder: Children and Adults Exploring Nature Together. She teaches wildlife ecology and environmental sustainability for the University of Maryland University College, and has worked with schools, nature centers, and libraries to create butterfly habitats and native plant gardens through her work as the Schoolyard Habitat Grant Coordinator for the Audubon Society of Central Maryland. Julie lives and chases butterflies with her family in Columbia, Maryland.


Dana Simson has a background is in product design, licensing, and as an artist, but her favorite pool of sunlight is writing and illustrating books. She has fourteen published books in pop-up, gift book,
and picture books. Her 25-year-old company, Chesapeake East, has sold to over 700 galleries and her artwork is in collections worldwide and a few museums. She has also worked with companies through licensing of her illustrations, for design work and patterns in many products internationally. Dana is a life-long environmentalist and wrote a blog and a monthly print magazine article for many years called “Garden Warrior.” The theme is “organic gardening by someone who has absolutely no time but must have a garden no matter what.” Her current garden involves a DIY rain collection system to battle the salt-water encroachment undermining our well. Dana is thrilled to be working with Julie to launch Janey Monarch Seed. 

Janey Monarch Seed
By Julie Dunlap
Illustrated by Dana Simson
Hardover, casebound wrap with endsheets
32 pages  |  8.5 x 11 vertical format
Full-color illustrations throughout
Price: $19.95
ISBN: 978-1-7336534-8-0
Pub Date: Spring 2020

Distributor: Midpoint Trade / IPG; also available through Baker & Taylor, Ingram, and other wholesalers.
Individuals can order via Indiebound.org, online, or contact your local, independent bookstore.
Booksellers, libraries, colleges/universities, gift shops, etc., can order through IPG:
Independent Publishers Group
814 N. Franklin Street
Chicago, IL 60610
Order Placement: (800) 888-4741

Rights sold: All rights available.
Rights & publicity contact Dede Cummings, publisher: dede@greenwriterspress.com