The Story of Life: A First Book about Evolution

The Story of Life: A First Book about Evolution

The Story of Life: A First Book about Evolution
Catherine Barr

Frances Lincoln Childrens Books

ISBN 9781847807557

At first, nothing lived on Earth. It was a noisy, hot, scary place. Choking gas exploded from volcanoes and oceans of lava bubbled around the globe... Then in the deep, dark ocean, something amazing happened. This is an exciting and dramatic story about how life began and developed on Planet Earth, written especially for younger children. The authors explain how the first living cell was created, and how the cells multiply and create jellyfish and worms, and then fish with bendy necks, which drag themselves out of the water into swampy forests. They tell the story of the biggest creatures that have ever walked on land - the dinosaurs. Long after that, hairy creatures who have babies, not eggs, take over, stand on two legs and spread around the world, some of them living through cataclysmic events such as ice ages and volcanic eruptions. Everyone living today is related to these survivors. With delightful illustrations including lots of detail and humour, all carefully researched and checked, this book shows the development of life on Earth in a truly accessible and simple way. CLICK HERE to download Teachers' Notes specially written by the authors, Catherine Barr and Steve Williams, to assist teachers and librarians in the promotion and teaching of The Story of Lifein schools and to help foster a love of good books, literature and reading in children.

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The Story of Life: A First Book about Evolution5/5

The Story of Life: A First Book about Evolution

Catherine Barr


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