Graphic Novel Review: Little Monarchs by Jonathan Case

A graphic novel set in the future and filled with butterfly facts and danger? Yes, please! Read on for a review of the graphic novel Little Monarchs by Jonathan Case.

Little Monarchs review


10-year-old Elvie and her caretaker, Flora, a biologist, are the only two humans who can survive during daylight because Flora made an incredible discovery – a way to make an antidote to sun sickness using the scales from monarch butterfly wings. Unfortunately, it can only be made in small quantities and has a short shelf life.

Free to travel during the day, Elvie and Flora follow monarchs as they migrate across the former Western United States, constantly making new medicine for themselves  while trying to find a way to make a vaccine they can share with everyone. Will they discover a way to go from a treatment to a cure and preserve what remains of humanity, or will their efforts be thwarted by disaster and the very people they are trying to save?


In this graphic novel set on the post-apocalyptic West Coast, a little girl named Evie and her guardian Flora are surviving on their own.  A sun sickness has wiped out most of humanity including Evie’s parents.  Together, they are determined to develop a sun sickness vaccine to share with the few humans left currently surviving underground.  The vaccines use monarch butterfly wing extract and Evie and flora find themselves following the complicated butterfly migration patterns.

The two find themselves in danger often, whether it’s their van careening off the road or marauders trying to prevent them from completing their task.  When they find a seemingly orphaned toddler, they take him under their wing which gets them into a precarious position with other humans trying to survive.  

Little Monarchs was truly a compelling and beautiful graphic novel.  Set in Oregon and California, there were spots I recognized and I loved that the author includes the lat/long coordinates just in case readers want to visit the setting of Little Monarchs.  I loved the detailed facts about butterflies and that most of the characters are diverse.  

Little Monarchs has just the right amount of tension to make it an exciting novel and just enough butterfly information that prevents the book from being bogged down with boring facts. 

Note: There is a discussion of death so heads up to those who have children who are sensitive to this topic.

Other Graphic Novel Reviews:

Graphic Novel Review: Swim Team by Johnnie Christmas

Summary and Review Messy Roots: A Graphic Novel Memoir of a Wuhanese American

Review: Part of Your World A Twisted Tale Graphic Novel

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