“This is a story of light and dark.
Of change and adaptation,
of survival and hope.
It starts with a little moth.”
Moths? To be honest, I hadn’t given them much thought – but the shining silver typography resting on the inky blue cover of this picture book called to me… very loudly.
Moth really is quite something. Firstly, there’s Isabel Thomas’s narrative. There’s a charming lilt to it, repetition of phrases such as ‘masters of disguise’, ‘speckled and freckled’ alongside short sentences such as, ‘Be silent. Be still’ give it wonderful poetic energy.
Egneus use of dark hues and space upon gloriously thick pages give a sense of grandness to this creature as its intriguing story unfurls.
Between them, Thomas and Egneus tell us how the Peppered Moth, with its ‘salt and pepper’ wings, was perfectly suited to its environment, carefully camouflaged in its natural habitat. As the pollution increased bringing huge quantities of black fog and smoke, the moth was forced to adapt, those salt and pepper wings would no longer keep it safe. Moths with brilliant charcoal blank wings increased in numbers, as the moths had to adapt to the changes around them. Then, over the years, cleaner air and skies mean that number of moths with salt and pepper wings has increased and…
‘Today both types of moth find
places to hide and survive.
They are still telling their story,’
What a journey, of adaptation and survival.
Using the example of the Peppered Moth, Thomas and Egneus have demonstrated the impact humans have on the world around them – even on creatures as tiny as a moth. There’s an important, underlying message here about the environment wrapped up in the wonder and celebration of this ingenious creature which shines from every page.
Moth concludes with a double page narrative, providing the reader with even more details of the Peppered Moth’s intriguing story and, ultimately, the power of nature.