Review by KRISTIN WALD
After reading Cheryl Bardoe’s BEHOLD THE BEAUTIFUL DUNG BEETLE, you’ll have a newfound appreciation and admiration for the insects. The book, recently out in paperback, details the three types of dung beetles: Dwellers, Rollers, and Tunnelers. The illustrations by Alan Marks are instructive and intricate – and yes, beautiful. Recommended for ages 5-8 (older children and adults will learn a lot too!), the language in this book is direct, factual, and infused with bemused observations even as it reflects a deep respect and enjoyment of the dung beetle.
The information about how dung beetles make use of the animal world’s waste is impressive and wide-ranging. The behavior of the “dweller” dung beetles characterizes them as easy-going: “Being less choosy about the freshness of their dung, many dwellers simply remain at the buffet longer than other dung beetles…” The “rollers” and “tunnelers,” meanwhile, will wrestle and fight each other for the best burrows, balls, mates, and dung mountains.
The book explains how the habits of the dung beetles differ in how they lay eggs as well. Some simply lay eggs where they eat, others create strong orbs of dung that circles the vulnerable egg, and still others will lay eggs deep in the ground, surrounded by dung that will nourish and protect the next generation. Behold the Beautiful Dung Beetle is fascinating and helps reinforce the ways in which every living thing is essential and contributes to nature’s cycles.
See the book trailer for Behold the Beautiful Dung Beetle here.
I received a review copy from the publisher.