by Alice Schertle, Kenneth Addison

Here is the fascinating story of human development, from its beginnings in Africa millions of years ago to modern times.See more details below

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Here is the fascinating story of human development, from its beginnings in Africa millions of years ago to modern times.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Joan Elste
This quality book is a handsome example of how human history developed. from its beginnings in a river in Africa millions of years ago. Covering time from the evolution of early species to today, the writing is outstanding, simple, and beautifully poetic with illustrations that hold the reader's attention carrying the eye across the pages and through the mixed-media collages. The double-spread pages are captivating and very dramatic. The writing in its simplicity, cleanly encompasses just about everything of importance relating to evolution. It is clear enough for any reader to understand and to stir the imagination of any child. From cover to cover this book is an outstanding example of writing and illustration working together to blend the history of mankind into an understandable read for young children. The ending is perfect and a tender reminder, returning the reader home to study where we have come from and perhaps what has been forgotten. Beautifully written and illustrated. A winner.
School Library Journal

Gr 2-5 - Schertle takes readers on a journey that tracks the origins of humans in Africa, their evolution into intelligent beings, and their spread throughout the world. In poetic text she describes their many deeds, from building cities to developing weapons with the power to destroy them; from making the stuff of everyday life such as "donuts and bicycle pumps and umbrellas" to creating art and music and literature; from plumbing the depths of the oceans to exploring the outer reaches of space. The brief text is superimposed on the mixed-media collage illustrations, and together they bring this story of human evolution to life. Often divided into striking narrow panels, the collages move across the spreads much as humans moved across the planet, revealing their diversity and enormous accomplishments. Greek and Mayan temples as well as a mosque and churches depict places of worship. Arts of the East and West and structures from around the world are represented. Fascinating juxtapositions abound: Playbills and the Broadway half-price TKTS booth alongside a medieval woman reading; ancient cliff dwellings above overwhelmingly crowded city streets; a baseball player on a jungle background. "It was so long ago and we had come so far from home," concludes Schertle, and so she brings her story full circle, taking readers once again to Africa where scientists are seeking answers in the bones they uncover. Although the lyrical account does not adequately convey the fact that human evolution took place over millions of years, it may serve as a jumping-off point for youngsters who will find more information from the Web sites and bibliography provided.-Marianne Saccardi, formerly at NorwalkCommunity College, CT

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Schertle gives her panoramic, free-verse view of the human story an ominous tone by placing it all in the past tense. Spreading out from an African river valley, "We walked upright / out of the valley across the savanna / up over mountains...then over time's long passage, went on to build boats and roads, make prayers and war, explore the ocean's bottom and our own biology." Addison (who died in 2005, while working on these illustrations) incorporated paint and clipped photos into kaleidoscopic impressions of pre-human and human figures from various world cultures engaged in the business of daily life; the visual sequences aren't always chronological, but do express a vibrant general optimism. In the end, though "some of us / returned to the water-carved canyon / to find our bones," our contact with the natural world, "the river running slow and cool / and the African wind in our hair," has been forgotten. The cautionary thread running through this may be too subtle for most children to catch, but it could spark discussions about where we've been and where we're going. (Picture book/poetry. 7-9)

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Product Details

Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
6 - 8 Years

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