In a moderately successful introduction to evolution, Cole discusses fossils: what they are, how they were formed, and how they give evidence of changes in plants and animals. Some problems result from the author's matter-of-fact tone and the extreme simplification of complex processes. There is no indication, for instance, that evolution is a continuing process or that puzzles remain. Flat statements assert that ""scientists can tell"" that fossils are the remains of plants and animals; which rocks are oldest; and that ""There was once a creature that was the direct ancestor of both apes and human beings."" The full-color illustrations show cheerful children and scientists examining rocks and fossils, the amphibian evolving, rock strata with imbedded fossils, a geologic timetable, and several panoramas with many life forms. The latter may confuse the young viewer, since early life forms, dinosaurs, and man all appear in the same illustration with no explanation. Lauber's Dinosaurs Walked Here provides textual clarity and outstanding photographs and is a better choice. No index.