Cover image for Gotta go! Gotta go!
Gotta go! Gotta go!
Swope, Sam.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000.
Physical Description:
30 unnumbered pages : color illustrations : 20 cm
Although she does not know why or how, a small creepy-crawly bug is certain that she must make her way to Mexico.
Reading Level:
AD 390 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.6 0.5 40592.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.4 2 Quiz: 27456 Guided reading level: K.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Little Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



An incredible journey "I don't know much, but I know what I know. I gotta go! I gotta go! I gotta go to Mexico!" The creepy-crawly bug doesn't know why she does what she does. She only knows she has to do it. But making the journey seems impossible for the slow-moving critter, who has no idea what or where Mexico is. Then an everyday miracle occurs, bringing a transformation that will help her fulfill her destiny. Each autumn, millions of Monarch butterflies migrate from the central and eastern United States andCanada to colonies in the mountains of Mexico, where they mate before flying north in the spring to lay their eggs. In simple, jaunty text and pictures, Sam Swope and Sue Riddle celebrate the amazing story of one of these intrepid bugs.

Author Notes

Sam Swope is the author of two previous picture books, The Krazees and The Araboolies of Liberty Street . He lives in New York City.   Sue Riddle lives in Providence, Rhode Island. This is her first book.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3^-7. "I don't know much, but I know what I know. I gotta go! I gotta go! I gotta go to Mexico!" Through the experience of one tiny creepy-crawly, this small square book dramatizes the astonishing journey of the monarch butterfly, and the powerful instinct that drives it to fly as much as 3,000 miles from the U. S. to Mexico for the winter, then mate there and fly back north to lay its eggs. The small, uncluttered, line-and-watercolor pictures are set in lots of white space. The words are simple and urgent. Even preschoolers will feel the excitement about this most fragile of creatures that can fly so far and prove so strong. The miracle of the transformation is there on the page when the sturdy little insect emerges from the cocoon transformed into a butterfly, "orange and black and splendid," with gorgeous fluttering wings that nearly fill the page. Then there are pages where it flies and flies, and the butterfly is just a speck in the sky above farms and highways, forests and desert ("I am what I am and I know what I know, and make it or not, I gotta go!"). Like Red-Eyed Tree Frog, Booklist's 1999 Top of the List for Nonfiction, this is a story that brings the wonder of the natural world right up close to a preschooler, without condescension or distortion. The rhythmic storytelling bears repeated readings, and many kids will want to go on from here to find out more about this astonishing creature. --Hazel Rochman

Publisher's Weekly Review

"The author suggests the urgency of a caterpillar's mission by treating it as a kind of hardwired biological destiny," said PW. "The clarity of the storytelling and artwork match the heroine's determination." Ages 3-6. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-This is the tale of a "creepy-crawly bug" (Monarch caterpillar), who says "I don't know much, but I know what I know. I gotta go! I gotta go! I gotta go to Mexico!" On her long trek, she meets a grasshopper and an ant, takes a "nice long rest" (metamorphosis), and finally reaches the hibernation grove in Mexico. She wakens in spring to "dance" with another creepy-crawly bug before heading north again to lay her eggs-"-the reason for everything." An author's note and the jacket blurb provide some factual fodder for parents and teachers. Small, full-color illustrations accompany the text. They are attractive, but unremarkable. For a supremely better introduction to the miraculous world of butterfly metamorphosis, try Deborah Heiligman's From Caterpillar to Butterfly (HarperCollins, 1996) or Mary Ling's Butterfly (DK, 1992); for Monarchs in particular use Gail Gibbons's Monarch Butterfly (Holiday, 1989); and for the mysteries of migration, April Pulley Sayre's poetic Home at Last: A Song of Migration (Holt, 1998) is a gem.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.