On a continuous strip over 2 meters long, the story of life from our planet’s earliest years to today’s Anthropocene Era.
On one side of the detachable, accordion-folded sheet, Forshaw strews hundreds of small figures (mostly animals once past the single-cell stage) in suggestively placed and colored environmental tracks, starting with the hypothesized “Last Universal Common Ancestor.” Developments first in water and later on land and above ensue as dinosaurs and extinct mammals parade past, early primates become Homo sapiens (all men, but the first one at least is appropriately dark-skinned), and newly domesticated flora and fauna give way to steam engines, oil rigs, and skyscrapers. A 24-hour “Earth clock” running along the top does double duty by tracking continental drift as well as suggesting the vast scale of passing epochs. Bound in behind the foldout is a set of historical “news” stories highlighting select advances from the theories of “Mr. Empedocles” to evidence of climate change and the creation of three-parent babies (the last with some factual errors). Publishing simultaneously, The Science Timeline Wallbook uses the same infographic approach, if less effectively—cramming hundreds of differently clad but essentially look-alike figures and nearly illegibly tiny captions into seven thematic ribbons. Both volumes include a (helpful, not to say essential) magnifier sheet in a front pocket and end with lengthy multiple-choice review quizzes.
Densely packed overviews, equally suitable for poring over in a lap or mounting on a wall. (Informational novelty. 10-13)