CM . . .
. Volume VIII Number 9 . . . . January 4, 2002
Vibrant, colourful, fun, factual and most appealing, this four-volume set is guaranteed to please. The books are identical in layout and appearance. Presented in cartoon format, they dispense information in kid-friendly language with a bit of humour thrown in for good measure. Fact boxes, maps and time-lines appear frequently throughout the books. A glossary and an index are also provided.
Volume 1, The Birth of the Earth, begins with an explanation of the Big Bang theory, followed by information on the creation of the solar system, including stars, planets, moons, comets and asteroids. Diagrams showing the various layers of the rocky planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) are contrasted with those of the planets made up mostly of gas (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto).
The second volume, The Dawn of Life, focuses on the evolution of life, from single-celled animals living in the sea to the plant and animal groups that dwell on earth today. Changes in the earth's crust, the formation of continents and mountains, and the evidence of prehistoric life found in fossils are also discussed.
Dinosaurs are featured in Volume 3, The Day of the Dinosaurs: their evolution, their reign on earth for millions of years and their eventual extinction. Clues left in fossilized remains help paleontologists to piece together the puzzle of the dinosaurs' sojourn on earth.
Volume 4, The Stick and Stone Age, highlights the development of modern-day mammals and the debut of humans. The influence of climate changes on earth resulted in a new group of flowering plants which provided food for herbivores, thus increasing both their numbers and those of their predators. Early man's ability to survive, his inventions of tools, shelter and language are also discussed in this title.
Students will find all of these books most informative and highly entertaining.
Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird's Hill School in East St. Paul, MB.
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