Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Rotten by Anita Sanchez

Rotten: Vultures, Beetles, Slime, and Nature's Other Decomposers
Written by Anita Sanchez; Illustrated by Gilbert Ford
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2019
Grades 3 and up

Unplug your nose and get ready to take a trip into the world of decomposition. 

“Nature doesn’t move in a straight line; it turns in a circle. After decomposition comes new life.”

From dung beetles, vultures, and fungus; to earthworms, compost piles, and, yes, yogurt, this jolly romp explores the truth about “one of nature’s most fascinating processes.”

To wrap up this fascinating exploration, Sanchez ends with how the Egyptians preserved bodies, cremation, and how we can see the cycle of life through a compost pile that turns old scraps into new life.
The book does not include photos. Instead, Ford’s cheerful and brightly colored illustrations enhance the text.
 Back matter includes glossary of terms, notes, and bibliography.
 For students who can't get enough of the cycle of life, hand them Death Eaters by Kelly M. Hall.
To write this review, I borrowed a copy of this book from my local public library.

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