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LIFE ON EARTH by Steve Jenkins


The Story of Evolution

by Steve Jenkins & illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Age Range: 7 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 28th, 2002
ISBN: 0-618-16476-6
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Jenkins (Animals in Flight, 2001, etc.) makes a first-class foray into an often-neglected topic. He traces life on earth from the single-celled organisms over three-and-a-half billion years ago through trilobites, club mosses, and dinosaurs, past flightless birds, “battering ram beasts,” and into the modern age of man. A time line, when set against a 24-hour day, has humans showing up at two minutes to midnight. Then he traces how scientists first learned about the earth’s history and formulated the theory of evolution; he shows how species adapt to their environments and how some random mutations can cause animals to be better able to survive. Bright cut- and torn-paper collages illustrate the remarkable diversity of, say, 300,000 species of beetles (18 are shown). The pacing and the picture-to-text ratio seem off in the first few pages, but that’s a very minor quibble. Because evolution is sometimes not taught in all schools, few good texts exist on it for this age. Factual and fascinating, this one belongs in every library. (Nonfiction. 7-12)