The story of the Earth's evolution from the time it swirled as a "red hot fiery ball of matter" to the planet we know today is depicted in terms of the various stages of development. "The world is truly a stage" here, for each full color painting is framed in a proscenium arch -- a gimmick which in no way can redeem its ghastly flaws. Lifeless, dull and artificial, these illustrations are eons away from evoking the real drama of life on earth. In their conscious dramatic intent, they are pompous and uninspired. The text is somewhat better as it highlights each aspect of evolution- the formation of igneous and sedimentary rock, the earth's submarine epoch, the ages of ice, reptiles, volcanoes and the coming of man. In the end the story zeroes in on four scenes in the space of one day, focussing directly on the place of the individual on an everchanging planet.