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Evelyn the Adventurous Entomologist

Coming September 2019:
Evelyn the Adventurous Entomologist: The True Story of a World-Traveling Bug Hunter

Written by Christine Evans
Illustrated by Yasmin Imamura

Hardcover, 40 pages

Back in 1881, when Evelyn Cheesman was born, English girls were expected to be clean and dressed in frilly dresses. But Evelyn crawled in dirt and collected glow worms in jars. When girls grew up they were expected to marry and look after children. But Evelyn took charge of the London Zoo insect house, filling it with crawling and fluttering specimens and breathing life back into the dusty exhibits.

In the early 1920s, women were expected to stay home, but Evelyn embarked on eight solo expeditions to distant islands. She collected over 70,000 insect specimens, discovered new species, had tangles with sticky spider webs, and tumbled from a cliff. Inspire children to believe in their dreams and blaze their own trail with the story of Evelyn’s amazing life!

Lucy Evelyn Cheesman: the woman who walked

By Kerry Lotzof

Lucy Evelyn Cheesman (1881-1969), OBE, was an English entomologist best known for her extensive solo expeditions in the South West Pacific.

Over the course of her trips, she collected around 70,000 specimens of insects, plants and other animals for the Natural History Museum.

Frogs in her pockets

Raised in rural Kent in an Edwardian home, Cheesman’s appetite for fieldwork began in the nursery.

Encouraged by her mother, her early expeditions involved collecting flowers and moss, as well as glow worms to work out what made them glow….

London Zoo’s first female Insect House curator

Cheesman became the Assistant Curator of Insects at ZSL London Zoo in 1917, and in 1920 was made the first female Insect House Curator. At the time, the Insect House was dilapidated and almost empty of live specimens.

Evelyn acquired a new stock of insects using a billycan and net, and invited children near and far to contribute.

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