Do you know that one in every four people across the globe eat insects on a regular basis? On purpose! What seems strange to many Americans is commonplace in other parts of the world – this is one of the fun facts from author Mary Boone’s presentation, Nonboring Nonfiction: Using Hands-on Activities to Engage Young Readers.
Ms. Boone pairs her own book Bugs for Breakfast, How Eating Insects Could Help Save the Planet (Chicago Review Press, 2021) with an activity that compares the amount of water needed to produce one pound of beef (over a thousand gallons) with that needed for a pound of crickets (less than one gallon), illustrating the benefit to the planet of eating bugs compared to hamburgers. She purchases bug-based snacks and has the kids compare them to typical fare – being careful to make sure parents are on board with this. According to the FDA, some bugs could create the same type of allergic reaction as shellfish because of their similar exo-skeletons.
The other book she brings up is This is a Book to Read with a Worm by Jodi Wheeler-Toppen and illustrated by Margaret McCartney. They don’t actually eat a worm in this one but study them very carefully, focusing on the role worms have in keeping our soil aerated and healthy.
Both of these books, and more on Ms. Boone’s website, are engaging and informative, and paired with some educational activities – I’m sure all the creative minds out there in Children’s Library-land have, and will, think of many more. Why not share them in the comments?
Conference blogger Laura Lehner is the Head of Youth Services at the Hudson Library & Historical Society in Hudson, Ohio. A member of ALA for 18 years and ALSC for 5, Laura is very much looking forward to the conference for the great conversations that will take place about providing library services during the pandemic and, always, about children’s literature and programs. A favorite snack is anything with chocolate and peanut butter!
Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.