Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Children’s Book Review, Moth

Children's Book Review by Susan Stephenson,

Moth is a children’s picture book written by Isabel Thomas, illustrated by Daniel Egnéus and published by Bloomsbury (2018.) RRP: $Au 24.99 HB (Online price $Au22.99 HB.)

I have previously reviewed Egnéus’s These Are Animals.

From the publisher:

This is the story of the peppered moth. A true tale that introduces the concept of survival and evolution in the animal kingdom against the backdrop of a world changed by humans. The colour of an animal can determine whether it lives or dies. But what will happen to it when humans change the world... Who will survive? Who will evolve? Who will die out?

“People built factories and burned coal to power magnificent machines. They made steam trains to take things here there and everywhere. Chimneys filled the air with smoke and soot…”

Moth is a book about evolution. It uses the case of the Peppered Moth to introduce children to changes that take place in nature over time that help a species adapt and survive. Natural selection is an amazing process but not always easy to grasp. Thomas uses simple sentence structures but nonetheless imbues her text with drama, action and emotion as we follow both the story and the process. We also witness the changes that took place in the human environment over time, and this is just as fascinating.

Egnéus’s stunning illustrations genuinely contribute to the atmosphere. There is so much contrast, play of light on dark, colour bleeds, patterns, silhouettes, and fascinating perspectives. If you need more convincing on how fabulous the artwork is, check out the video below and see the actual illustrations within the book trailer.

Moth would make an excellent non-fiction picture book choice for those kids who really could not be bothered with make believe. It will also definitely work as a text for older kids who want to learn about natural selection. I hope everyone will grab a copy because I want you all to share my enthusiasm!

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