Beetles for Breakfast and Other Weird and Wonderful Ways to Save the Planet by Madeleine Finlay, illustrated by Jisu Choi

Beetles for Breakfast and Other Weird and Wonderful Ways to Save the Planet by Madeleine Finlay, illustrated by Jisu Choi. Flying Eye Books, 2021. 9781912497508

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Format: Hardcover

What did you like about the book? Climate change activists, this one is for you! In engaging language, appealing design and super fun art, this browsable book offer everyday solutions to put into practice now, as well as ideas that are in the scientific pipeline, and technology and inventions that require the next generation of innovators to work on.

Chapters are divided by familiar places, such as the breakfast table, the farm, or home. A futuristic scene composed of all the ideas to be covered in the chapter starts off the chapter, and then the chapter contents goes on to explain all of the ideas and how they work, or could work, in tomorrow’s green world. Readers will marvel at the ideas for ecological substitutes for fuel, packaging, food, energy for heating and cooling, transportation, housing and more. And, boy, are there so many uses for poop, human and otherwise! I was intrigued by all of the ideas in so many different industries and occupations, and readers will undoubtedly find a way to connect with something they can do or want to learn about in the future.

The art is amazing – the details and perspective in the bird-eye-views of the futuristic world are great fun to pore over. South Korean artist Jisu Choi’s illustrations are in themselves a reason to pick up the book. Colors pop off the page, and give vibrant life to the technology and inventions offered up in the text.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No, but this won’t appeal to readers who prefer quiet, text-based information sources. The pages are very busy.

To whom would you recommend this book? For ages 7-12, for browsing or as inspiration when the present ecological status of the world gets you down. This is a nice title for elementary and middle school classrooms.

Who should buy this book? Elementary and middle school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? 363

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, it’s worth a look.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: November 29, 2021

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