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Behold the Beautiful Dung Beetle
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Behold the Beautiful Dung Beetle

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  99 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Simple science text and dramatic illustrations give a close-up view of the fascinating world of the dung beetle. When an animal lightens its load, dung beetles race to the scene. They battle over, devour, hoard, and lay their eggs in the precious poop. Dung is food, drink, and fuel for new life—as crucial to these beetles as the beetles are to many habitats, including our ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 11th 2014 by Charlesbridge (first published January 1st 2014)
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Edward Sullivan
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Without the remarkable dung beetle, we'd all be living in a world of shit.
A nonfiction picture book that gives an informative overview describing the life cycle and habitat of the dung beetle. With a simple, straightforward text and full-page watercolor and pencil illustrations, this clearly demonstrates the dung beetle's importance to our ecology. There's also some information explaining why the ancient Egyptians revered the dung beetles, also known as scarabs. The sections in the back are filled with invaluable additional information.
Ann Williams
This is another one of my favorite non fiction picture books of the year and 4th graders will love this book too! I didn't know there was SO much to learn about dung beetles. This book will make a great addition to a text set about biology and heredity. It was just plain fun and had me laughing out loud! Imagine that, non fiction that makes you laugh. Try it, you will like it, I promise! :)
Oct 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
It is tempting to pepper this review with poop jokes but I'll just say that this really IS a well written and informative book ;-)
Joseph O'Toole
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Budding entomologists
A funny and informative book! Much to my surprise, I feel I can now converse knowledgeably about dung beetles at a cocktail party—should the topic ever arise (however inappropriately) at a cocktail party . . .
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic book for nature study. Clear, bright pictures and informative text presented in a lively way.
Jackie Thiel
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another nonfiction text that my 2nd graders will enjoy during our nonfiction units Reading/Writing and/or our Science Lifecycle Unit.
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is really all you'd ever want to know about the industrious dung beetle.

And I can't believe it is now the second book I've read on the subject.
Jun 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile-nf
Who knew there were three types of dung beetles, with more than 5000 species on six continents? My favorite fact is that Australia never had any until cows were imported. Then the dung in the fields became overwhelming, so they imported the dung beetles!
Gotta be a brave writer to use 'poop' - and a skilled writer to use it appropriately! Bardoe does this and the word simply blends into the knowledge base she builds. On the left hand page, she gets creative, "Champions reap rewards," and "...dung
Sunday Cummins
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
LOVE THIS NEW BOOK!!! So many possibilities for classroom instruction in grades 2-5. So well written and I had no idea how important dung beetles are to our environment…right up there with earthworms!!!

The book starts by drawing the reader in with the gross factor – “Somewhere in the world right now an animal is lightening its load–in your backyard, on a nearby farm, in a forest, on a grassland far away.” The content of the text includes descriptions of the three types of dung beetles – dwellers
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Magnificent dung beetles see heaping piles of feces as a smorgasbord of food for their families. Dung beetles vary in their feasting methods: dwellers eat directly on the dung pile, rollers eat as they create balls of dung to bury in soft soil, and tunnelers eat as they carry dung into burrows directly beneath the dung pat. Female dung beetles lay their eggs in the dung; eggs turn into grubs before turning into adult dung beetles that then burst from the feces all shiny and new. The book reads l ...more
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I wouldn't have imagined that anyone could make the dung beetle particularly interesting, but this author has done just that. Filled with watercolor and pencil illustrations, the book describes three different types of dung beetles (dwellers, tunnelers, and rollers)and the work they do in removing fecal materials from where they have been dropped. It's fascinating to learn what those beetles do with all that dung and to know that what others might disdain the beetles use to live and produce offs ...more
Who knew there was so much to learn about dung beetles? Each spread has two paragraphs, one in larger type for younger readers, another in smaller type with more details for older readers. The story makes sense whether you want to read just the larger type, or all the text sequentially. With enough gross-out facts to keep the most reluctant reader engaged, there's lots to learn about how vital this insect is. Additional facts, a glossary, and bibliography are included on the last spread.
What could be cooler than a beetle that eats poop? Children will be fascinated to learn about the three types of dung beetles that battle it out for the best bits of poo. Read aloud text is accompanied by detailed information about the types of dung beetles and how they obtain the nutrients they need from the dung. What a wonderful way to understand that every creature has value and purpose. Story includes fascinating facts page, glossary, and bibliography.
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Excellent example of NF for children. Love the two different font sizes; larger size is casual and fun, smaller size shares facts about the sung beetle. Lively and lovely watercolor illustrations. Lots of back matter including a bib and glossary and diagram, thank you to beetle expert on verso. Fave line at the end: "Clad in splendor, dung beetles ascend into our world."
Karen Arendt
May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is quite an informative book on dung beetles for 3rd through 5th grades. The book has two separate texts on a each page- general statements in slightly larger text and more detailed information in the smaller text. The three types of beetle- roller, dweller, and tunnelers are explained and then discusses the life cycle.
Judy Desetti
Interesting. A good nonfiction about the three types of dung beetle. I would have liked it better if the images were photos rather than illustrations. Although the illustrations went very well with the text. This must be the year of insects and bugs.

AR 5.6 but listed as Lower grades for interest. So this would need to be a read aloud or for a higher level student.
NYC Reads 365
"What's the poop all about? If you are not familiar with the word "dung," it means poop or feces. You will be fascinated by this incredible beetle whose whole existence relies on the waste of other animals that can be as small as rabbits or as large as elephants. You will be grossed out and fascinated all at the same time."
Sharon Lawler
Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Life cycle of the dung beetle, and the three main types, is presented in a very readable approach. Two separate type sets separate the simple presentation from the more involved information, Illustrations are watercolor and pencil on Fabriano 5 paper.
Presents the life and habits of the dung beetle, which obtains food, water, and shelter from the droppings of other animals. With larger text that could be used in a story time and smaller text for more explanation. Towner award nominee
Nitza Campos
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Well, I must say that I have never been particularly interested in dung beetles. With that said, I must say that this book was interesting. The illustrations are bold are capture the dung beetle's beauty.
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Rollers, tunnelers, dwellers. I did not know there are three types of dung beetles! Nor did I know that rollers stand on their front legs and push their dung balls with their hind legs. Or that dung beetles live on six out of seven continents - sorry Antarctica. Grateful for the dung beetle!

Holly Mueller
It amazes me what topics children's nonfiction writers find to write about. This one is all about dung beetles, and somehow, writer Cheryl Bardoe and illustrator Alan Marks made me want to read about them! They're fascinating! Lots of kids will want to read about them, too.
An incredibly good book on the life of the many dung beetles that live for the waste of others! Two levels of text for either a quick read through or a more in depth explanation of the lifestyle of dung beetles. Excellent writing, beautiful artwork - all around well done!
Brenda Kahn
A fascinating and gorgeous, yes, gorgeous look at three types of beetles that thrive on poop. Your library is not complete without this one. Display front and center. Guaranteed not to sit on the shelf.
Paul Lavery
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
An honour award winner for the 2015 Cook Prize awarded to a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) picture book published for children ages eight to ten.
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Kids always learn the life cycle through butterflies, flowers, but what kids wouldn't want to learn the life cycle through a bug that eats and lives in poop? Wonderful little book about this bug.
Niki (Daydream Reader)
May 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, insects, nonfiction
So interesting and disgusting! I'm sure students love it!
Dec 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Too young for MSBA, but I was fascinated by this book about dung beetles. Pretty neat stuff!
May 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In all my years growing up on and around a farm, I never heard of a dung beetle. But they must have been around, no doubt by the thousands. Because the farm had cattle and hogs.
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