Billions of Years, Amazing Changes: The Story of Evolution

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Overview

Ever since Charles Darwin revealed his landmark ideas about evolution in 1859, new findings have confirmed, expanded, and refined his concepts. Now, author Laurence Pringle, one of the nation's premier science writers, brings together the pillars of evidence that support our understanding of evolution in this ALA Notable Children's Book. Field biology, genetics, geology, paleontology, and medicine all add to the impressive structure of evidence. With a perfect blend of science and art, renowned illustrator Steve ...

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Overview

Ever since Charles Darwin revealed his landmark ideas about evolution in 1859, new findings have confirmed, expanded, and refined his concepts. Now, author Laurence Pringle, one of the nation's premier science writers, brings together the pillars of evidence that support our understanding of evolution in this ALA Notable Children's Book. Field biology, genetics, geology, paleontology, and medicine all add to the impressive structure of evidence. With a perfect blend of science and art, renowned illustrator Steve Jenkins creates stunning new depictions of important concepts and key evolutionary scientists. More than fifty photographs capture natural marvels, including awe-inspiring fossils, life forms, and geological wonders. The result is a full, clear, and up-to-date account of the monumental evidence supporting the modern view of evolution.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Pringle provides an accessible introduction to complex concepts such as natural selection and genetics, paired with Jenkins’s characteristically elegant collages. A chapter about variation opens with a discussion of the differences between dog breeds, and how such variation within a species “makes evolution possible.” Pringle describes missing links as “in-between” fossils that have helped construct a clearer picture of evolutionary stages. Compelling photographs of fossils and living creatures, as well as Jenkins’s paper collages, augment the substantial text. The presentation should help children gain a confident grasp on the fundamentals of evolution. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
* "A necessary title for most school and public libraries serving young readers." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Simpler, and far more lively than Thom Holmes's dry Evolution (Chelsea House, 2011), more difficult than Steve Jenkins's own elegant Life on Earth: The Story of Evolution (Houghton Harcourt, 2002), and more solid than Robert Winston's somewhat fragmentary Evolution Revolution (DK, 2009), Pringle's intelligent and eye-catching book is an engaging, readable lodestone for researchers." —School Library Journal, starred review

* "A logical, well-organized, easy to understand book about the often controversial issues between evolutionists and creationists." —Library Media Connection, starred review

Children's Literature - Amy S. Hansen
This book is a fascinating, detailed walk through evolution. From the changes evident in the changes of the Earth, to those hidden in the animals around us, Pringle provides a thorough tour with each new chapter building on the chapter before. Evolution is not a belief or a "mere" theory, but a well-proven scientific explanation of how life around us has come to be what it is. Following Pringle, we explore geology and the changing Earth, the fossil record, and what people used to think, all before we meet Darwin and work on the term evolution. "Evolution," Pringle writes. "is simply change over time. It usually means a gradual change, not a quick one. ... The huge question remained: how did these changes actually happen?" By looking at the driving factors of evolution: variation, nature's bounty, and competition, Pringle prepares the reader to understand natural selection and the changes it brings, and then to look more deeply into genetics and other modern sciences. Filled with wonderful photos and illustrations, this book makes the science of evolution attainable for upper level elementary students and above. Science readers and others will love this tour. Backmatter includes a glossary, a list of more resources, and an index. Reviewer: Amy S. Hansen
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—Pringle's exemplary title offers a carefully researched and clearly written history of the evolutionary process and real-time examples of evolutionary events. "Evolution is, simply, change over time." From floating continents and isolated islands to the formation of fossils, natural selection, and the deductions of Charles Darwin, the lucid text offers a clear understanding of an ongoing natural phenomenon and the light that recent discoveries have brought to bear on it. Clear, color photos complement the text, as does Jenkins's nifty artwork. Pale blue information boxes pop up on occasion, as do a couple of maps. Simpler, and far more lively than Thom Holmes's dry Evolution (Chelsea House, 2011), more difficult than Steve Jenkins's own elegant Life on Earth: The Story of Evolution (Houghton Harcourt, 2002), and more solid than Robert Winston's somewhat fragmentary Evolution Revolution (DK, 2009), Pringle's intelligent and eye-catching book is an engaging, readable lodestone for researchers.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews

A clear, well-organized presentation of the evidence from earth's rocks and fossils, the variation of living things, the process of natural selection and the study of DNA and radiocarbon dating that supports the scientific theory of evolution.

Pringle (Global Warming, 2001) again takes on a complicated and controversial subject, explaining it simply and convincingly for upper-elementary and middle-school readers. He connects his audience to his topic by inviting them to imagine their own ancestors, in order to begin to look back over time. With lively writing and interesting examples from all over the world and from the distant past to the present day, he explains what people once believed and what we now know. Along the way he also introduces theories of continental drift and plate tectonics, defines "species" and other important terms in context and explains the use of the word "theory" in science. Color photographs and Jenkins' signature cut-paper illustrations (both seen only in black and white) along with short chapters, sidebars and an attractive, open layout make this an inviting read. Both the glossary and the suggestions for further reading are extensive.

A necessary title for most school and public libraries serving young readers, this will be welcomed for its calm tone and straightforward, comprehensive introduction to the subject. (index)(Nonfiction. 9-15)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590787236
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2011
  • Pages: 102
  • Sales rank: 428,832
  • Lexile: 1000L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Laurence Pringle has written more than 100 books for young readers, many of them award-winning science titles. Internationally, his books have sold nearly three million copies. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He lives in West Nyack, New York.

Steve Jenkins has received numerous awards and critical praise for his art work and innovative book design. Recent titles include Bones, Never Smile At a Monkey, and Life on Earth. His books have sold more than one million copies worldwide. He lives in Boulder, CO.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    You should read the book Billions of Years, Amazing Changes beca

    You should read the book Billions of Years, Amazing Changes because it will give you more info on how earth evolved. My first impressions of this book was that it was just for little kids. I also thought it wouldn’t have many facts about how the earth evolved. This book was easy to read because it wraps everything in short paragraphs. This book gave me a couple good facts about how the earth evolved. I learned how fossils were formed from mammals a long time ago. I would recommend this book to people who want quick facts about evolution on earth.

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