ISBN 9781847807557

Librarian's Book choice




The Story of Life: A First Book About Evolution, is recently republished in paperback. Firstly, I must comment on the vivid and imaginative language that the author uses to discuss and describe these, sometimes hard to grasp, concepts. Choices such as 'choking gas', 'churning seas' and 'belched towards' really hook the reader into learning about early life.

The text is easy to follow and understand and the flow of the book is superb. Despite there being great periods of time between each event, the pages just seem to mould together and you can see life evolve in front of you. Even the very origins of the earth, pre-dinosaur, are compelling to read and interesting.

The introduction of the dinosaurs once again grabs your attention and the use of language once more allows you to live that time period with time, you almost feel like you can 'thunder', 'wade' or 'wander' with the best of them. Post-dinosaur, the books clearly explains the evolution of mammals into man and shows how we slowly adapted to our surroundings. It then concludes with a stark message that we, as modern day man, are destroying our planet and reminds us of the need to protect our world for years to come.

This book is a fantastic non fiction text to share with any curious children. It offers solutions to many early questions children may have regarding how the world started or even when dinosaurs died. It is both child and adult friendly and I found myself learning new things in a way that didn't make me feel silly.

I would happily use this text with a class as a way of introducing evolution and to discuss our heritage. The text doesn't follow the usual conventions of a non fiction book, instead it uses vivid illustrations to support the facts and flows more like a fiction text. I found myself wanting to read on and on. The addition of a time line at the bottom of the book as well as glossary, make this even more of a learning tool. Overall, an excellent and informative read.

40 pages / Ages 6-9 years / reviewed by Kyle Matravers, teacher.

Reviewed by: Kyle Matravers