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Kathryn Lasky
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One Beetle Too Many - The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin (Candlewick Biographies)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  164 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Describes the life and work of the renowned nineteenth-century biologist who transformed conventional Western thought with his theory of natural evolution.
Published (first published May 13th 2006)
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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 event(s). I felt that the illustrations were more suited for a younger picture book audience, whereas the text (in both style and length) suggested something more for the upper age range on picture books.

Still, as for the story itself, I
Lisa Vegan
Jun 08, 2012 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all young naturalists, scientists, philosophers, historians, ages 9-12 + all the way up
Ah, the title. Ha! Yuck! The reader finds out quickly why the title for this book is as it is.

This 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 up.

This is an excellent biography of Charles Darwin. I knew quite 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 lot.

I appreciated how this book encompasses D
This is a comprehensive look at the life of Charles Darwin. The narrative is quite 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.

new word: cordillera
This is a book that I've been intending to read for quite 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 here.
Also, it was a great biography on Darwin and filled in some details that make him, if nothing else, a more colorful, vi
Ms. Yingling
In the tradition of Childhood of Famous Americans, this biography of Darwin starts with an examination of his formative years, spent in a house with parents who encouraged him to explore the world around him. By turns focused on things that interested him, yet unable to stick with the career path suggested by his father, this book explores the ingredients that combined to make Darwin a driving force in new theories of animal adaptations. Accompanied by amusing illustrations, this biography gives ...more
The full-page illustrations with leaf and plant clippings in One Beetle Too Many are fantastic. Kathryn Lasky's prose is clear and easy enough to understand for children of the appropriate age. (Be warned, however, that there is a decent amount of text in this book, so it should be for older children). I like that the book breathes life into Darwin so that he seems like a human being rather than just another name kids might have to memorize. Kathryn Lasky inserts some cheeky sentences, such as t ...more
May 24, 2010 Jayme rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All those little future naturalists.
Shelves: 2010, children, biography
Great kids book about Darwin's life and accomplishments. It gets its title from a day in Darwin's childhood where he came across three beetles he'd never seen before, so he grabbed one in each hand but needed somewhere for the third, so he popped it in his mouth. Really cute story. The illustrations are very pretty and the author did a good job of not dumbing it down too much.
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?
Arapahoe Library District
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!
Young readers will be intrigued by the young Charles Darwin's struggles to find himself and identify a satisfying career amid his father's expectations that he become a clergyman. Once he is hired as a naturalist aboard the Beagle, the book becomes even more of an adventure story as he travels and collects samples and specimens everywhere the ship goes. The writing is engaging and draws readers into the story, making Darwin sound like someone they'd like to know. Once he returns home to England, ...more
Megan D. Neal
Great introduction to Charles Darwin, wonderfully written and outstanding, whimsical illustrations. A real treat for both eyes and mind! My girls loved this book.

The artist had this to say about the illustrative process of this book: "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 f
With appealing, hypnotic artistry this book's tedious length becomes an engaging journey. Though I don't agree with every one of Darwin's theories, he and his life journey are fascinating to me and this books detailing lends to great parent-child discussions about science and religion--the important ways in which they can compliment each other in our quest for truth, and the confusion that can ensue when either one tries to stand in blind solitude. I didn't feel like this book had any other agen ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Charles Darwin was a child who was allowed to explore and he grew up, despite his terrible conflicts with schools, to be a man who explored the world of nature.

Lasky, as she has done in every book, writes the story of Darwin's life brilliantly. Darwin feels as round and human as any fictional character. He comes across as both a student easily bored and a thoughtful observer.

The pictures make Darwin feel even more real, smart yet bumbling.

I loved the richness of the writing and the fun of the p
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 kids.

One 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
Lasky, Kathryn . (2009). One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin. New York: Candlewick. 368 pp. ISBN 978-0-7636-1436-2 (Hardcover); $17.99.

Charles Darwin collects beetles in his mouth when his hands are filled with other critters. From these beetle collections, Darwin gathers evidence for his growing ideas about how animals change—ideas that will soon scare the whole world. This picture book biography is not for the student who craves the detail-laden approach charac
Charlyn  Trussell
Lasky's narrative portrays the life of a young man whose future would see him a clergyman--if his father had anything to do with it. Who would have suspected that Charles Darwin was an unwilling student whose lack of achievement in the classroom caused him to fail at his father's first career choice for him, law? The book proves that it was not a lack of skill or intellect that caused Darwin's failure, but a lack of interest in the careers others chose for him. His great love was science and onl ...more
Nice, simple biography about Charles Darwin for kids. I love Charles Darwin and thought this would be great for kids. There were a few aspects of Darwin's life that I've interpreted differently, but other than that it was pretty good.

I didn't love the illustrations. They were kind of silly and reminded me too much of leprechauns.
While I guess not technically a picture book but more of an early chapter book, the rich and lush illustrations (sometimes using actual plants) and short chapters will make this a great aloud. It also helps that the subject is very fascinating as well. I'll have to look out for more Candlewick Biographies books.
Fabulous book for children, introducing them to the life of Darwin and his discovery of the theory of evolution by natural selection...and his immediate conflict with entrenched religious dogma. Borrowed this one from the local library, but I will definitely be adding this to our collection!
In One Beetle Too Many Lasky tells the story of Charles Darwin and his quest to learn more about the natural world. We learn of Darwin's childhood and his father's concern over his nonconformity. Charles did not do well in school and preferred to be with the bugs rather than the books. As readers, we follow his life aboard The Beagle, home to England and end with the publication of The Origin of Species. Lasky's tellings of specific anecdotes, along with the humorous pictures that accompany the ...more
An excellent early chapter book for the younger reader on Darwin. Gave a good description of Darwin's travels, but wish it would have gone into Creationism vs. Evolutionism a bit more. It had a single chapter that was truly dedicated to it.

3.2 stars

An engaging biography of Charles Darwin. I knew about his travels on the ship, the HMS Beagle---but didn’t realize that the voyage lasted for 5 years! The illustrations are great.
Such a vibrant, interesting, child-friendly book on the life of a scientist and his ideas that does not cut corners or talk down to a young audience. I learned more about Darwin and his ideas too!
This is a cute picture book about a child with endless curiosity about everything around him. Charles Darwin wasn't ever done learning. I would have loved to see inside his home where ten children followed in his footsteps and had their fingers in everything. His wife was frightened by his ideas as are many people today. I think the antidote to fear is to learn about his ideas and evaluate them for ourselves. The book ends by mentioning his efforts to train earthworms which were unsuccessful. I ...more
This picture book biography presents a fairly comprehensive look at the life one of the most well-known naturalists of all time: Charles Darwin. The story focuses mainly on his years on the Beagle, a ship that was commissioned by Britain to survey the southern coasts of South America. The observations Darwin made on this trip would forever change his perception of the natural world and would help spur his theory of evolution. The author does an exceptional job of presenting the controversy surro ...more
Catherine Woodman
This is a great biography of Charles Darwin for the grammar school set==a mixture of Darwin the adventurer and Darwin the nerd, with all the true things in place, and enough for the to be able to follow the story of this momentous discovery and time in the mid-19th century. On top of that, the illustrations are gorgeous, and hit the right note of complexity to help kids visualize what it was that Darwin observed that made him thing that organisms adapt to their micro-environments. I would highly ...more
Good overview of Darwin's life & contributions to science, with personal touches appealing to young readers: i.e, he once popped a beetle in his mouth to carry home b/c his hands were already full. Supposedly he did poorly in school, too busy following his passion for nature & environment; I have a soft spot for stories like that. Illustrations incorporate found natural objects, really enhance the story & are nicely done. Looking forward to seeing the Darwin flick that's coming out s ...more
Very well written for the target age group.
This is the sort of picture book that's really better suited for the older grades. It's NOT well-suited as a read-aloud, and it's written on a "6.8" reading level... that's right, suited for the end of the 6th grade.

It offers an ample view of Darwin's life and research. I've put it away for now, though, as my nieces simply aren't old enough and there's no room on their shelves for books they aren't reading!
Katrina Kim
Great way to capture the adventures of Darwin
* Time span of lessons- couple of weeks

Discussions reviewing curriculum content:

- Big bang theory (if it is not banned)
- Observations
- Data analysis/collection
- Following dreams/ heart
- Geological changes/ Variations
- Evolution
- Survival of the fittest

This is a fun, engaging, story form to discuss the contents above!
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Kathryn Lasky is the American author of many critically acclaimed books, including several Dear America books, several Royal Diaries books, 1984 Newbery Honor winning Sugaring Time, The Night Journey, and the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her latest book, Guardians of Ga'Hoole Book 15: The War of the Ember, was released on November 1, 2008. Guardians of Gahoo ...more
More about Kathryn Lasky...

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