To say this book was a surprise would be an understatement. From the artwork on the cover I knew it would be pleasant to look at. Previous reviews had also praised The Beetle Book and its author Steve Jenkins for providing a wonderful book with great content for young readers, yet I after a few read throughs, I can say they did the book very little justice.
I felt like I was back in my high school biology class, but with a much better textbook... and this book is meant for children! The artwork is engaging and beautiful to look at, but the content is on a whole other level. I never knew just how amazing the world of the beetle is, and Jenkins quickly puts it into perspective with in the first page stating that one of every four living things on the planet, is a beetle.
From there, evey page is filled with clear and concise information regarding every aspect of the life of a beetle. From anatomy to life cycles and everything in between, this book covers it all.
Not only that but by the third page I can attest to staring at the page in disbeliefe thinking, can these little guys really do that? Maybe I wasn't paying enough attention in biology class (a distinct possibility), but the world of the beetle is incredible! From camouflage to feats of strength and speed, and amazing chemical reactions these little, and sometimes very big, buggers are fascinating. I could not wait to turn each page to find out the next amazing thing I didn't know. After reading this book I can confidently say that there are such things as super heros amazing with super powers, they're called beetles.
My expectations for this book were moderate. I expected to read a book with pretty pictures and a few interesting facts that a 4-8 year old child would find interesting. I am quite happy to say my expectations were terribly wrong. This is the kind of book you can read with a child that will have both parties equally engaged, no doubt spurring discussions and investigations for a long time to come. Its an easily digestible encyclopedia of all things beetle, as well as a gentle reminder of our place in this great, wide, and wonderful world.
And the winner of the And Then It's Spring book Giveaway! is... Alejandra who wrote:
"My kids absolutely loved this book when we ran into it at our local library. It is truly beautiful. Thanks for the opportunity!"
Thank you to everyone who particiapated!
*Last time in Books and Stories: And Then It's Spring