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A lively text and captivating images tell the story of the ever curious boy who grew up to make one of the most significant discoveries of our timeFrom the time Charles Darwin was a boy he was happiest when he was out alone collecting specimens especially beetles And despite his father's efforts to turn young Darwin — a poor student — into a doctor or clergyman the born naturalist jumped instead at the chance to sail around South America observing and collecting flora and fauna all the way In a clear engaging narration Kathryn Lasky takes readers along on Darwin's journey from his discovery of seashells on mountaintops that revealed geological changes to his observations of variations in plants and animals suggesting that all living things are evolving over time Matthew Trueman's striking mixed media illustrations include actual objects found in nature enhancing this compelling look at the man behind the bold theory that would change the way we think about the world — and ourselves


10 thoughts on “One Beetle Too Many The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin

  1. says:

    This is a great book about the life and times of Charles Darwin from his childhood up until the time he publishes ‘the Origin of Species’ It is a very dense book for kids There is one side with a picture and the other side has a page full of text It’s a 20 minute read I tried with this book with the kids but it is simply too long The nephew dropped out The niece did hang in and it took us 3 nights to finish She has a bit of naturalist tendencies herself She gave it 3 stars She enjoyed it but said it was too long This is a great introduction to Charles and his life I didn’t know his history I have wanted to read the ‘origin of species’ for a decade now but it remains low on my list Someday after I read many other books I am interested and I have a friend who read it and said it was a great bookDarwin was simply a person who loved the world and to observe the world He didn’t have to try and do this it was all he wanted to do His father pushed him to do other things and he hated them all Observing the world was who he was and he was very good at it He observed everything He is uite an amazing personThis is a lovely book and if your kids can sit still it could be a great read for them I would skip it if you have wiggly kids


  2. says:

    While Kathryn Lasky's One Beetle Too Many The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin is of course not a comprehensive and all encompassing biography of Charles Darwin but rather a short and concise picture book format analysis and interpretation of his life and times primarily geared towards older children from about the age of nine onwards it is most definitely than thorough enough to adeuately and indeed also with a lively and readable approachable narrative cover and examine Darwin's life and his oh so important contributions to science and the history of science with the author's text of course and naturally focussing in particular on Charles Darwin's voyages employed as chief naturalist on the HMS Beagle and how his travels how the many different species of animals as well as the different landscapes and geologic features Darwin saw and encountered whilst on his journeys helped to both jump start and later firmly cement into place his theory of evolution and that the earth was thus and indeed not just thousands of years but millions upon millions of years old with the majority of changes happening slowly evolving over long periods of time and that the earth including us humans was therefore also not created in one short seven day stretch as is related in the Old Testament of the Bible And truly One Beetle Too Many The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin is in my humble opinion not only a great but also a very much balanced introduction to Darwin and his theory of evolution showing both Darwin's life and the many critcisms and struggles he encountered with regard to his findings musings and resulting theories both from his nearest and dearest from his family and of course and I guess naturally also from the establishment and that his theories were attacked and often severely and lastingly so by not only the clergy but also by many scientists of Darwin's era But appreciably and for me personally very much laudable Kathryn Lasky also always strives to point out that while Charles Darwin did not consider the Bible as infallible and thus also did not consider the creation story as related in Genesis as in any manner true and believable he also ALWAYS did believe in God as the creator and that his theory of evolution actually is thus a decidedly deistic type of consideration with God providing the spark so to speak and then evolution kicking in with life etc changing slowly and according to natural selection over long time frames and considering that I myself am very much a deistic evolutionist I have most certainly heartily appreciated reading about and realising in One Beetle Too Many The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin that the so called father of evolution that Charles Darwin himself obviously also was a strong believer in deism and that while many staunch creationists might indeed claim that Charles Darwin was an atheist he obviously was NOT that by any stretch of the imaginatiom for while he might have with justification uestioned the Bible's veracity and even the divinity of Jesus Christ Charles Darwin never ever did uestion or deny the concept of there being a creator of there being a supreme deity Now with regard to Matthew Truman's accompanying illustrations while I have found them expressive and at times even rather fun personally I do find especially the often caricature like human figures a trifle too unserious for my own personal amd aesthetic tastes and with that I mean to say that while I do like and enjoy Trueman's pictures I am actually really neither all that much impressed nor am I unimpressed that they do provide a decent accompaniment to and for Kathryn Lasky's narrative but that to and for me One Beetle Too Many The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin does not really even reuire illustrations and that if truth be told the illustrations and especially the at times a bit exaggerated facial features of the humans depicted kind of feel a bit potentially visually distracting to me Four stars for One Beetle Too Many The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin and highly recommended with the inclusion of the short but detailed bibliography at the back being the absolute icing on the cake for me and while an accompanying bibliography really should be totally expected and a basic reuirement in and for a completely non fiction biography on Charles Darwin the fact that there so often is a lack of such for me oh so academically necessary inclusions in especially non fiction books geared to children this indeed does make me appreciate that Kathryn Lasky has included a detailed and informative bibliography all the


  3. says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed Lasky's picture book biography regarding Charles Darwin's life although the illustration style was not my favorite I enjoyed them but in some cases I didn't feel they really fit with the story in either feeling or depicting the described events I felt that the illustrations were suited for a younger picture book audience whereas the text in both style and length suggested something for the upper age range on picture books Still as for the story itself I feel Lasky did a good job of condensing Darwin's life into the brevity of a picture book without sacrificing style or substance While certainly not comprehensive it none the less covers his boyhood through his older years with focus primarily on his exploration on the Beagle Little details such as Darwin being seasick and having to eat only raisins or how he once tried to train earthworms make Darwin feel like a real interesting person not some dusty figure from the past What I perhaps appreciated most about this particular biography is how Lasky deftly handled the science vs religion aspect On the Beagle Captain Fitzroy provides the voice for the Christian perspective as he was devoted to both the Bible and to science though perhaps his temper made him seem a less than sympathetic individual at times and even Darwin's own wife worried that her husband was losing his faith in God While Darwin's disbelief in the Bible as absolute truth and in Jesus Christ as the Savior has continued to trouble Christians even to this day Darwin felt that his theories about evolution did not disprove God and that if species could change over time who else but God could make such marvelous things happen? It seems this aspect of Darwin's character is often ignored by the overarching science vs God arguments and I am glad it is included here All in all this is a fine if incomplete portrait of a complex remarkably intelligent individual husband and father who became in his words A complete millionaire in odd and curious facts


  4. says:

    Ah the title Ha Yuck The reader finds out uickly why the title for this book is as it isThis is a really superb book It’s text heavy although the illustrations are marvelous and for older children I’d say 9 maybe 8 to 12 and up all the way upThis is an excellent biography of Charles Darwin I knew uite a bit about his research and philosophy and his years on the Beagle but not that much about what came before and after so I learned a lotI appreciated how this book encompasses Darwin’s life and nature science philosophy religion history so muchThe illustrations mixed media collages contain actual bits of natural materials and they’re just wonderful As is true with many picture books I was less than enthusiastic about the portrayal of human faces but I got used to those and I ended up enjoying all the very creative illustrationsThis is an excellent introduction to many subjects and could be a great springboard for discussion about evolution evolution and religion natural history scientific research and of course Darwin’s life and times This is a good first book for learning about and discussing all these subjectsIf Darwin was working today I’m sure animal rights activists would be up in arms4 ½ stars


  5. says:

    This is a comprehensive look at the life of Charles Darwin The narrative is uite lengthy but informative and interesting and the illustrations are wonderful We really enjoyed learning about this famous naturalist and we read the book all at once although I probably should've broken it up into at least two readings as I started to lose our girls' interest toward the end I think we all learned a lot by reading this book This book was selected as one of the books for the August 2018 Charles Darwin discussion at the Picture Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreadsnew word cordillera


  6. says:

    This is a book that I've been intending to read for uite a while and just haven't gotten around to Now that I have though I am pleased to share that I really enjoyed it It was well written using a couple of different literary devices that I'd like to revisit in the future including excellent use of items in a series I think I counted that one three different times in hereAlso it was a great biography on Darwin and filled in some details that make him if nothing else a colorful vibrant man I would love to share it with children though I think that the length would prevent it from being a simple read aloud Even though it's got all the making of a good boy book with its blood and grossness in all the right places I can't picture an elementary age child persevering through it without some ulterior motive like a school assignment to push them throughI enjoyed it though It was a well done biography


  7. says:

    I completely enjoyed this book I am a sucker for picture book biographies and this one was very well done plus while it was heavy enough in text to be a short chapter book Candlewick was wise enough to make it a large picture book and it has brilliant illustrations Can we be looking at next year's Caldecott or Sibert award?


  8. says:

    A great book Good intro to the man his times his work and public's ongoing discomfort with his ideas Good bibliographyfurther reading Lively illustrations engaging text For anyone who understands the shape of the globe I think not for the youngest who just can't yet grasp the difference between countries and continents or thousands vs millions of years


  9. says:

    This seems like a Caldecott contender because the illustrations so perfectly convey Darwin's curiosity and love of all things in the natural world Read this and you will be outside collecting beetles drawing birds and examining every plant


  10. says:

    I just started this book Although it's a picture book the text is pretty involved which I don't mind at all The illustrations are fun and the information is accurate and interesting Can't wait to read it to the kidsOne thing occurs to me over and over as I've been reading about Darwin this past year It is encased in a principle that I recently read in a book can't recall which one It was something to the effect of back some time ago the people of Europe believed that there were only white swans in the world They couldn't imagine anything else It wasn't until Australia was explored and black swans were discovered that people believed otherwiseAs I'm now reading about Darwin's younger years his study to be a clergyman and the line upon line discoveries he made and thought about and processed I think it fits the above mold to a TIt takes people a while to accept new ideas That's just plain true I just wish certain people wouldn't write books like Ten Books that Screwed up the World and include Darwin in them I wish I could be around in another 150 years to see how things have changed in this arenaUpdate Read this book to the kids last night and we loved it I liked how the book highlighted Darwin's discoveries in South America plus his Galapagos finds One idea in this book contrasted with an article I read in National Geographic February issue That article talked about how the South American discoveries were actually the basis of Darwin's ideas and later theory The finches were further data that supported his previous fossil finds One Beetle Too Many highlights the Galapagos finches as the basis of his ideas as do many writings and books I think the National Geographic article sounds closer to the truthThe illustrations are great and the story though long kept my children's interest I'd like to own it