Evolve or Die! A Horrible Science Book
Written by Phil Gates and Illustrated by Tony de Saulles, Evolve or Die is the first of many 100% horrible books that I hope my son will enjoy.
When the box arrived with the 4 Horrible Science books I'd ordered from Amazon, Matthew asked if he could just skip his work for the day to read them. I vetoed that idea, but he did get his other work done in record time. He then retired to his room to devour the book. A mere 90 minutes later he announced he was finished with the 137 pages. I took a little longer to read it.
The book begins with a high-speed synopsis of life on earth over the last 4.5 billion years. In fact, Gates managed to get all that history down to 6 pages! What follows is a short study of Darwin, dinosaurs, the evolution of man and mosquitoes, and even an explanation of how the eye came to be. Readers will learn about DNA and chromosomes, cross-pollination and plate tectonics, the great dinosaur extinction and the extinction of more recent animals like the dodo and carrier pigeon. All this is done is a witty, light-hearted way that grabs young readers and makes them want to keep going.
Most engaging feature: The comic-like illustrations. More than a few giggles here.
Most horrible feature: Nothing really horrible in this one, unless of course you're a creationist, in which case your mistake was picking up the book in the first place! There is a section on dinosaur farts, some murderous mosquitoes, and some quips about PE teachers. All in good fun!
Most likely to elicit further study in our home: The many people mentioned. With names, dates, and notable contributions, this leads directly to biography/work studies of people like Darwin, Hippocrates, and Mary Leaky (found Australopithecus Lucy).
Most likely to need an explanation: British spelling and slang. All the Horrible books were written by British authors, so some of the words needed explanations - like practise and crisps.
Definitely worth reading in my opinion. Knowing my son, this is a book that he will read several times. It helps make up for the quick reading! Matthew's moved on to Disgusting Digestion, though he's taking it a bit slower than the last one.
There are also Horrible History and Horrible Geography books out there, and I'm hoping to someday have the entire set!