Something Rotten A Fresh Look at Roadkill

Reviewed By  Ian Banks       December 28, 2018


Author  Heather Montgomery. Illustrations Kevin O'Malley

Distributor:      Bloomsbury Childrens Books
ISBN:                 9781681199009
Publisher:         Bloomsbury Childrens Books
Release Date:   November 2018  


To begin with, there needs to be a clear understanding about this book. It is a book that is far more than the title even thought it is all about Roadkill, most definitely, but as Heather Montgomery has gone to great lengths to explain, it is about what happens next, after the poor animal has been bowled into the next life by a vehicle, and how these tragedies can be prevented or at the very least, reduced.

Roadkill does have its uses for research, medially and environmentally, and also as a wide range of alternatives such as art, taxidermy and clothing; but most importantly, it also shows trends to local governing bodies as to where the local wildlife crosses and why they choose to move in this particular area. As Montgomery reiterates over and over again, with enough local and public support changes can be made that help both humans and animals survive in todays world.

But how does one squished snake, that begins this journey, make such a difference to how Heather Montgomery thought. Well, jogging down a country lane and passing a sadly dead rattle snake, caused her to think more about what happened and why, and what happens to its very deadly fangs when it died, squished through the middle.

So, she turned around, ran back to the snake, still lying dead on the road, investigated further and discovered she had learned so very much from this dead reptile, how much more were other people learning from other roadkill. And so, began a ghastly fascination and obsession with roadkill across the world, the scientific information imparted and so much more these roadkill creatures encourage us to discover about their lives, habitat and cause of death.

Some of the facts in the book make gruesome, even if somewhat fascinating reading and the many case studies used to illustrate the points show just what can be done by a determined group of children and adults to change the situation for the better.

For everyone who has an interest in wildlife, loves the gruesome details and enjoys Science, this will make far more than a fascinating read and who knows, may encourage an interest in wildlife preservation that will go on create an environmental difference.