- Age Range: 7 - 10 years
- Grade Level: 2 - 5
- Lexile Measure: 1050L (What's this?)
- Series: Candlewick Biographies
- Paperback: 48 pages
- Publisher: Candlewick (March 11, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0763668435
- ISBN-13: 978-0763668433
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.2 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #610,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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One Beetle Too Many: Candlewick Biographies: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin Paperback – March 11, 2014
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Large and humorous mixed-media illustrations will draw children to this large-format biography…Lasky's text balances the exuberant artwork with well-organized information, gracefully sprinkling in quotes from Darwin's own writing…creates a clear view of a man who was troubled by the implications of his observations and who, at the end of his life, was more interested in experimenting with earthworms and carnivorous plants than in promoting his theory.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
Distilling tough concepts into light, conversational prose…a just-right introduction to Charles Darwin….colorful, cut-to-the-chase language …multilayered mixed-media illustrations; mostly paint, these also incorporate bits of flowers and weeds as well as string, paper and fabric.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
This accessible jaunt will easily situate the man as a natural adventurer in kids’ minds before he becomes just another stuffy old scientist.
An accessible presentation that’s likely to circulate briskly.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
This well-rounded look at Darwin is enhanced by the illustrations, which add a touch of whimsy to the pages.
—Library Media Connection
Darwin’s various adventures are broken up in ways that allow the reader to repeatedly enjoy pieces and parts of this title, possibly as a read-aloud. Trueman’s illustrations are fun and winsome; no dry scientific sketches here.
This intelligently and elegantly designed volume makes clear how much Darwin's ideas continue to create an impact on science, society and culture, a century and a half later.
Emphasize[s] Darwin’s ‘extraordinary adventures,’ the fun, the pleasure he took in observing wherever he was.
Colorful details about the great scientist bring him to life in full living color in this marvelous picture biography.
The text is full of small details that will grab the attention of young readers…Trueman uses his mixed mediums to great effect, and the addition of pressed flowers and plants to his already delightful paintings is especially effective.
—The Well-Read Child blog
Packed with tales of [Darwin’s] adventures, his ideas, and his work…well written and factually correct and contains absolutely beautiful artwork that is both whimsical and appealing.
—Science Books and Films
Brilliantly illuminates the life of the famed naturalist Charles Darwin.
—Journal News online
Works well to display Darwin s personality and the excitement of his forays into the natural world. The illustrations are a match to this approach and the style of the writing, with a slight air of the whimsical and lively, colorful immediacy.
Kathryn Lasky brilliantly illuminates the life of the famed naturalist Charles Darwin who gave birth to the ‘idea that scared the world…Matthew Trueman’s charming and intricate illustrations…convey the contradictions and humanity of Darwin.
Distills an enormous amount of difficult information into just enough text for young readers…Artist Trueman adds fun to the mix with large mixed media cartoon illustrations that appropriately incorporate bits of plants flowers and weeds…entertaining and friendly.
Skillfully blending watercolors, pencils, and inks, the art captures Darwin’s fascination with life around him, making this a compelling introduction to this important scientist’s life.
About the Author
Kathryn Lasky is the award-winning author of more than ninety books for children, including JOHN MUIR: AMERICA'S FIRST ENVIRONMENTALIST; A VOICE OF HER OWN: THE STORY OF PHILLIS WHEATLEY, SLAVE POET; VISION OF BEAUTY: THE STORY OF SARAH BREEDLOVE WALKER; and INTERRUPTED JOURNEY: SAVING ENDANGERED SEA TURTLES. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Matthew Trueman spent his childhood in Italy but returned to the United States to attend art school. He is the illustrator of A PICTURE FOR MARC and NOAH'S MITTENS. He lives in Phillipsburg, New Jersey.
Of ONE BEETLE TOO MANY, he says: "The illustrations in this book started out as drawings created with acrylic inks, watercolor, and graphite pencil. I moved up the food chain to add gouache and colored pencil. After sealing the pictures with acrylic medium, I did my thicker acrylic painting, then fooled around a little more with graphite and colored pencil. Finally, I added the collage elements, including paper, string, and weeds and wildflowers from my yard and nearby ditches and fields."
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both beautifully done .
A great companion book to the book , " Charles Darwin and the Beagle Adventure ( Historical Notebooks ) ''.
Before getting into the meat of the story, I simply cannot go further without mentioning the captivating illustrations in this book. Artist Matthew Trueman used a most unusual assembly of mediums to achieve the uniquely spectacular illustrations you see here. These included layers of acrylic ink, watercolors, graphite pencils, gouache paints and colored pencils. He then brilliantly used collage elements like paper, string, flowers and leaves to really give the illustrations true depth. You've simply just got to see these illustrations for yourself to appreciate them.
Now back to the story . . . Readers of One Beetle Too Many will not only learn about the focus of Charles Darwin's passion - nature - but also of his struggles. As a young boy in the early 1800s, Charles was a failing student, though his sister shined in school. His disappointed father urged him to join the clergy, but although Darwin spent many hours each day reading the Bible, his passion was with nature. After a friend invited him on a long voyage to South America to serve as the naturalist on board a ship called The Beagle, Darwin had found his true calling. I like that this book mentions his early struggles so children can understand that not everyone who is smart and accomplished successfully mastered every aspect of his early life.
In the pages of the book, we learn of the many plants and animals Darwin observed on his long journey, and how he viewed the world only as a true scientist would. He noted minute details and questioned so much of what he saw. His observations led him to realize that animals of the same species differed slightly from island to island in the Galapagos. The outcome of his great voyage was Darwin's theory that species changed over time to adapt to their environment, stating that sometimes the most minuscule changes may have taken millions of years. Naturally Darwin's theory of evolution was not received well by many religious people of his time. To this day there remains controversy among some over Darwin's theories. Yet still we can all greatly benefit from learning about Darwin's life and work, and One Beetle Too Many is a great way to introduce readers ages 7 to 12 years old, the scientific world of naturalist Charles Darwin.
look at. It was not the kind of house where children were told things
like, "children must look, but not touch." Even his mother had
interesting things to look at, for she raised pigeons. One of his
favorite things to do was to collect beetles. He even learned the
names of them. Charles was learning many things, but not in school.
After his mother died, his father became exasperated with him. "You
. . . will be a disgrace to yourself and all your family "
When he was sixteen, he was sent off to college to learn medicine, but
he still didn't get the picture. His grades were lousy and he still
was interested in collecting things as he was a born naturalist, not a
student. Studying to be a doctor was definitely not in the cards so
his father sent him to the University of Cambridge to become a cleric.
And he was still interested in collecting things. Then one day a
letter came from a friend that would change his life forever. In 1831
he boarded the naval ship Beagle and would embark on a trip that would
change his life and would forever alter the way the world thought
This type of simple biography makes it easier for the reluctant
student to learn about a subject as the marvelous visual imagery can
be a great help. The book was adventurous and fun. It makes the
somewhat distant character, Charles Darwin, come alive for the reader.
Obviously this book is not for the creationist, but would make a
lovely addition to the home or classroom.