CM . . .
. Volume XVI Number 4. . . .September 25, 2009
The story of evolution is both complex and full of unanswered questions. This picture book attempts to introduce young readers to some scientific details that may explain the mystery, using the query ‘‘What came first……the chicken or the egg?’’ as a starting point. The Big Bang is described as well as various eras in prehistory, continental drift, evolutionary theories and processes, and extinction. It’s a lot to cover in a 32 page book, so it is by necessity quite sketchy.
General factual statements (‘…complex chemicals formed and collected in the oceans…’) are mixed with cartoon images, e.g. droplet-shaped figures representing basic gases commenting on the wet weather. The presentation style varies from simple, minimal text using mixed font sizes and spiral shapes, to detailed descriptions, as excerpted above.
The book may arouse preliminary interest in scientific investigations into evolutionary processes. Key figures, such as Sir Richard Owen, paleontologist, and Charles Darwin, are mentioned. The final page includes token reference to climate change and pollution with the dour warning that “it is up to us to maintain the environment……” While this may inspire discussion, it also suggests this book should be read with an adult who could interpret some of the material. I wonder if many youngsters would choose this one on their own.
Gillian Richardson is a freelance writer living in BC.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.