Beetles for Breakfast

Beetles For Breakfast
Madeleine Finlay and Jisu Choi
Flying Eye Books

Fundamental to all scientific discoveries is the imagination and so it is in this book wherein Madeleine Finlay explores the imaginative new technologies scientists are developing to help make our planet greener.

There’s absolutely no getting away from the drastic effects that climate change and global warming are having on planet earth and Finlay’s book is bursting with ideas – including those of the weird and wonderful kind – suggesting ways that humans might reduce the adverse impact of we humans.

The backdrop is a day in a child’s life and as we follow it through from the breakfast table, the bathroom, into the city, to school, the park, then onto a farm and pay a visit to the beach before returning home, we learn how some of the cutting edge inventions could become part and parcel of everyday life.

Imagine cleaning your teeth by means of edible capsules of toothpaste made from slimy seaweed that you’d pop into your mouth and brush your teeth squeaky clean; perhaps brushing with a biodegradable bamboo-handle toothbrush. Think of the plastic saved!

Being almost entirely vegan, I certainly wouldn’t entertain the idea of eating beetle burgers however.

What about wearing a PE kit that contains bacteria and when you start to sweat, these microorganisms swell, opening flaps for a refreshing breeze and shrink again once the sweat has dried. Clever stuff.

Indeed, other scientists have discovered bacteria in fermenting yogurt and in our guts that can produce electricity: maybe in the future, it’s suggested, musical speakers could be powered by harnessing such microbes.

We all know of the damage caused by the exhaust fumes from cars and other vehicles; however with some clever chemistry it might be possible to turn toxic black carbon soot into ink you could use for art projects or writing.
With bright, often intricate, infographic art and a wealth of facts, some still a tad far-fetched but you never know, and exciting ideas aplenty, this is a book that could inspire youngsters to become the cutting edge scientists and technologists of the future.

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