Using colorful language and depicting crayon and collage creatures with wide eyes, even at the single-cell stage, this simple account retraces the history of life on Earth from “tiny floating bits” to humans.
From blasting volcanoes and belching gasses to a closing panorama of buildings, factories and busy highways, Husband’s naïve-style cartoon pictures populate the planet with cells, multicelled creatures, plants and animals on land and in the sea, dinosaurs, mammals and then humans in succession. Two major extinction events also get mentions, though they are not specifically named. A linking narrative incorporates the ideas that living things “fought for food and space” and also “evolved” to fill distinct environmental niches. Various terms and phrases from the text are repeated in labels that point to the appropriate spots on the page—for instance those aforementioned “tiny bits.” The authors display a rather parochial point of view in claims that life only “really began to get going” when animals appeared and that following the age of dinosaurs, mammals “took over the world.” However, after noting that we really should be taking better care of our home, they do close with the broader and more accurate observation that “with or without us, our planet will spin through space for billions of years to come.”
A high-spirited lead-in to discussions of evolution’s proofs and mechanisms, despite the anthropocentric view of Earth’s biosphere. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 7-9)