A Day With Homo Habilis: Life 2,000,000 Years Ago

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This is the first of four volumes in the series called "Early Humans." The introduction explains to the reader what the earth was like two to three millions years ago. Enlargements of skulls, maps and artifact accompany the text for a better understanding. Also included is a chart that shows the succession of the evolution line. By using both solid and dotted lines, the author was able to separate items that scientists have come to a consensus on and items that are still being explored for connections. The remainder of the book is about an imaginary day in Watu's life. The reader follows Watu starting from early morning when he and other men go in search of food, to the evening when the men sit in council. Watu ends his day looking at the stars and wondering about his own existence. This book is displayed beautifully with each page holding pictures, illustrations, and facts about each. An excellent glossary is provided at the end of the book that also contains illustrations. This is an exceptional starter book to explain part of the concept of evolution. The author has put much effort into making this a "user friendly" book. It is truly a beautiful book and one that will be looked at often. Once you own this first in the series, you will have to buy the next three. 2003, Twenty-First Century Books, Ages 12 up.
— Kathie M. Josephs
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-Both books include many large colorful photos, diagrams, and illustrations, which are their best features. The texts are much less successful, mainly because of the fictionalized "day in the life" format. It is not known if Homo habilis or even Neanderthals lived in families, or, if so, what would have been the makeup of these groupings. But the author feels free to speculate about them by creating what he sees to be a typical family or clan. For the Homo habilis, he creates a man named Watu and even gives him a wife and children and a village with huts. His Neanderthals get an entire extended family and sophisticated culture that exceeds what is generally known about their lives. Although it is not out of the question that both may have led the kinds of existence described, none of the language used in these books would lead readers to believe that the author's conclusions are anything but fact. Examples of tool making are shown for both Homo habilis and Neanderthals, with illustrations that show the tools in use. However, both books include art and artifacts that are not related in any way to the cultures being described. What a bowl painted by the Mimbres people of the American Southwest (C.E. 1000-1200) has to do with the Neanderthals is a mystery.-David Pauli, Hillsboro Public Library, OR Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761327653
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/5/2003
  • Series: Early Humans Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 11 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.12 (w) x 13.04 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword 6
Introduction: Entering the World of Homo habilis 7
Watu's Day 19
Glossary 44
Index 47
Picture Credits 48
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