From the Publisher
"Jenkins presents a superb introduction to evolution for younger readers...[His] explainations of science concepts are comprehensive and comprehensible, making good use of his excellent illustrations." Horn Book, Starred
Jenkins’ trademark watercolor cut–paper collages, a large format, and the careful use of both an oversized and small font are definite lures into this handsome exploration of the basics of evolution.
School Library Journal, Starred
Clever, eye–catching, and extremely effective.
Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
Grabbing the audiences attention with stunning cut and torn paper collage illustrations, Jenkins illuminates another corner of the science world in this cogent introduction to evolution.
Publishers Weekly, Starred
“Life on Earth taps into children’s sense of wonder about the world, which is the great starting point for scientific exploration.” The New York Times Book Review
“Intricate paper collages of animals and plants set against fields of clean white illustrate this condensed account of the earth’s history.” Riverbank Review
“Factual and fascinating, this one belongs in every library.” Kirkus Reviews
“Jenkins and page combine two high-interest topics in a format that works at several levels due to the increasing complexity of the text.” Book Links, ALA
Grabbing the audience's attention with stunning cut- and torn-paper collage illustrations, Jenkins (The Top of the World) illuminates another corner of the science world in this cogent introduction to evolution. Here, he traces the planet's history from its fiery beginnings billions of years ago through the emergence of the first bacteria, development of such organisms as jellyfish, ferns, dinosaurs, mammals and birds, on up to humans. Posing and answering questions ("Why have so many different forms of life developed on the earth?"), Jenkins ably presents such concepts as mutation, extinction and Darwin's theory of "survival of the fittest." The information spans an impressive range; Jenkins organizes and presents it with a clarity that demonstrates his mindfulness of the audience. Spacious white backdrops allow the vigorously lifelike collage images to spring to the fore. Bright-eyed frogs appear ready to jump off the pages; a shark swims menacingly toward readers; a wooly mammoth looks soft enough to pet. Science at its most inviting. Ages 6-10. (Oct.)
This scientific book, covers the theory of evolution and its consequences, including mutations and mass extinctions. Beginning with single-celled life, this book follows the development of life into modern times. Furthermore, it details the explorations, studies and conclusions of Charles Darwin. To end his book, Steve Jenkins includes a fascinating timeline of earth's four-and-one-half-billion year history placed on a twenty-four hour clock. An example taken from this clock is that modern humans wouldn't appear until 11:59:58—only two seconds before midnight! Colorful collage illustrations add to the impact of this book. The illustrations, the size and shape of the book, and the understandable language make this book appropriate for reading aloud to preschoolers and early elementary students. However, the subject matter will interest older children as well as adults. 2002, Houghton Mifflin Books, Ages 5 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-Jenkins's trademark watercolor cut-paper collages, a large format, and the careful use of both an oversized and small font are definite lures into this handsome exploration of the basics of evolution. The author has taken on the formidable task of investigating the scientific theories explaining the innumerable branchings, proliferations, and extinctions of life on planet Earth. His lucid text presents a terse chronology of life from its earliest beginnings as one-celled bacteria in the primordial ocean to the appearance of modern man. He then explains how scientists were persuaded that animal/plant classifications and geological/fossil records provided proof that animals and plants had not remained unchanged since a single moment of creation, and discusses how Charles Darwin's investigations in the Gal pagos resulted in his formulation of the theory of evolution. The discussion also includes natural selection, variation and mutation, and how these processes can produce new species and some of the possible causes of extinctions. The final graphic diagram compares Earth's 4 Y billion-year history with a 24-hour day, showing modern man popping into the scene at 11:59:58 p.m. Larger and more eye-catching than Joanna Cole's Evolution (Crowell, 1987; o.p.), and far simpler than Stephen Webster's The Kingfisher Book of Evolution (Kingfisher, 2000), Life on Earth is a polished exposition of a difficult, often controversial scientific concept. Substantial, despite its picture-book appearance.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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)