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One Beetle Too Many

Module 7 – Informational Nonfiction/Biography/SLIS 5420


Lasky, Kathryn. (2009). One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin.  (M. Trueman, Illus.) Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press.


This book is packed with information and is text-rich as well as rich with beautifully detailed yet humourous illustrations.  Lasky has done a pheonomenal job of bringing Charles Darwin to life for the reader as a fascinating and influential person.  The book is longer than most picture books and would not be suitable for early readers; however, child and adult alike can learn some interesting facts from this book about the naturalist who fathered the theory of evolution.  Lasky brings a deft personal touch to her portrayal of Darwin and how he became an astute observer and chronicler of the natural world.  The book is literally packed with information, but Lasky’s writing style and Trueman’s illustrations work together to make the story flow.  I was particularly impressed with what I learned from the book and yet how enjoyable it was to read.


 “Adventure! Travel! Exploration! Discovery! Drama!
All of the above could be used to describe the life of the 19th-century scientist whose work revolutionized how we view and understand the natural world. The bicentennial of Charles Darwin’s birth presents a fine opportunity to look at the man, the theories he formulated, and the ongoing controversy that they have stirred. Luckily the occasion has sparked the creation of new books and media, many for young readers, which largely concentrate on his years aboard the HMS Beagle, and the discoveries of that momentous voyage. Books for older readers offer a fuller biography of the naturalist and his life’s work, including a fascinating look at his marriage and the publication of On The Origin of Species. Short of a visit to Down House or a field trip to the Galapagos Islands, the resources collected here are the best way to introduce the ideas and enduring legacy of one of the greatest thinkers of all time, whose theories continue to challenge and engage our beliefs and intellectual debates.”

Editors. (2009, March 1). Celebrate the Darwin Bicentennial. Review of One Beetle Too Many.  School Library Journal.  Retrieved from


One Beetle Too Many would be a great book to use in the elementary classroom for teaching natural science and would be a great concept book to build a storytime at the library around or to use in tandem with other science picture books. Incorporating a nature walk or other nature activity (such as looking at bugs in jars and talking about them), talking about fossils and possibly seeing some, and using other aids like photos of nature – bugs, animals, fossils, dinosaur models -would be a good idea.


About mary's summer bookshelf

I'm studying to be a librarian at the University of North Texas and loving it. This blog is a class project and the first one I've ever written. The world of children's literature is diverse and rich. This class is opening up many worlds for me to traverse - I am a total YA fan now.

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