In-depth science about dogs is presented in a graphic-novel format in this latest Science Comics installment for middle graders.
Rudy, the story’s narrator, is an engaging mutt who loves to chase a ball. While at the dog park with his person, Rudy chases after a ball and goes back in time to “25,000 BP (before present),” when there were no dogs, only a wolflike ancestor. In this prehistory, Rudy introduces readers to the science of genetics and recessive and dominant traits as well as how they determine behavior and appearance. From genetics, Rudy delves into evolution and natural selection, explaining scientifically how dogs evolved from their wolflike ancestor. As the book continues, Rudy moves readers through time and geography while explaining dog physiology, the hows and whys of their behavior and communication, as well as artificial selection: the science of human-created dog breeds. The scope and depth of information is truly impressive and could be formidable, but the comic-book format keeps things on the accessible side as well as helping to illustrate more complex points. There is a glossary at the back for definitions, and scientific words are printed in boldface throughout.
Thorough, clearly presented scientific information is lightened by silly asides from dog-narrator Rudy to keep readers entertained and engaged as they learn a huge amount about the science of dogs. (further reading) (Graphic nonfiction. 8-14)