Monday, August 17, 2020

Where Are the Galapagos Islands? by Megan Stine

I don't have a whole lot to say about Where Are the Galapagos Islands? but I thought it was an excellent little book. One of the books I threw in my cart when I went crazy at Book Outlet, I bought the book specifically because a friend is leading a tour of the Galapagos Islands in the future (probably in 2022; hard to say, at this point) and I realized I haven't read anything at all about the Galapagos Islands in quite some time. Most of what I've read in the past probably had to do with Darwin. I've read his Voyage of the Beagle, long ago, and that was enough to pique my interest in the island's amazing wildlife.

The book describes the history of the islands' discovery, why nobody settled on the Galapagos Islands for hundreds of years after they were discovered, the visits by pirates and privateers, which country the islands belong to, the animals that are unique to the Galapagos Islands, how turtles on the various islands got Darwin thinking about the differences that led to his evolutionary theory, which islands are now occupied, the destruction humans have already caused, and why travel to the islands risks ruining everything.

I thought for a children's book that's so slim (112 pages), Where Are the Galapagos Islands? was stunningly informative. It was particularly interesting to me that the blue-footed booby is a Galapagos resident because a friend (not the same friend who is leading the tour) had just posted a photo of a blue-footed booby on Facebook right before I read the book. I'd just glanced across it, thought "Cool," and said nothing. And, there they were in the book, apparently unique to the islands. Double cool.

Highly recommended - Whether you have a child who likes learning about the world or loves nature, or you're thinking you want to head to the Galapagos Islands yourself, one day, Where Are the Galapagos Islands? is an excellent read, entertaining and much more informative than I expected. I usually pass on children's books after I finish them but I think I'll hang onto this one in case I decide to go on that tour and want to reread it closer to the time.

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