This was written by Ben Gundersheimer, aka MISTER G:
Over the past five years, I’ve had the privilege of performing for Moms Clean Air Force at their annual Play-in for Climate Action. The inspiration for my environmental-themed music comes from many years of touring around the world as a musician playing for kids and families in the biggest cities, the smallest villages, and everywhere in between.
After having recorded 10 albums over the last decade, I recently released my debut picture book, Señorita Mariposa. The book is about the monarch butterfly migration and is based on one of my original, bilingual songs.
Earlier this year, I made a pilgrimage to Mexico to visit the butterflies in their winter home in the mountains of Michoácan. As the sun rose high in the sky, millions of monarchs emerged from the oyamel trees and took flight. I sat in silence with my friend, the Mexican artist, Marcos Almada Rivero, as the butterflies surrounded us. We’d just seen the first proofs of Señorita Mariposa, and it was as if Marcos’ illustrations had flown off the page into the sky.
The song “Señorita Mariposa” first appeared on my album, Chocolalala, and at that point it was simply an appreciation of a beautiful butterfly. The adaptation of the picture book is quite different. On the face of it, Señorita Mariposa celebrates the incredible three thousand mile journey that the monarchs make each year from Canada and the United States to Mexico. However, the deeper underlying narrative is the responsibility that all three nations – Mexico, the US and Canada – share in safeguarding butterfly habitat, and the undeniable parallels with human migration.
Like so many endangered species, climate change is altering the environmental conditions that stress an already low monarch population. The monarch’s survival is dependent upon humans taking bold climate action to preserve habitat.
There’s a powerful and poignant symbolism to the butterfly migration, particularly in this day and age. Butterflies do not see borders, they simply make their epic journey as they have for thousands of years. Sitting on the mountaintop in Mexico, I couldn’t help but wonder how things might change if everyone, but especially our political leaders, could witness the silent majesty of the butterflies.
ENTER TO WIN A COPY OF Señorita Mariposa!
- Please fill out this ENTRY FORM to be entered to win a copy of Mister G’s new book Señorita Mariposa! We will be giving away 3 books to the lucky winners!
- Winners will be randomly selected and contacted via email on Friday, October 25th.
- Must be a US resident to be eligible to win.