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Evolution: The Story of How Life Developed on Earth    by Joanna Cole & Aliki order for
by Joanna Cole
Order:  USA  Can
HarperTrophy, 1989 (1987)
Hardcover, Softcover
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

It begins with a farmer digging in a field. 'He found a rock that looked like a bone. Another time, a child found a stone shaped like a seashell.' People look at them in wonder, but scientists tell us 'they really are the remains of plants and animals.'

Joanna Cole explains how these fossils are formed and where they are found in rock strata. Aliki's illustrations make it all clear - including a wonderful drawing of the kinds of creatures found in rock layers from the Precambrian period to the very recent (relatively speaking) time that humans arrived on the planet. We see through the pictures how 'Life was growing and changing!'

The author introduces Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution, putting it in perspective of development that happens 'over millions of years'. Specifically, Cole shows the lobe-fin evolving into amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, even apes and human beings. She concludes by reminding us that 'No one saw evolution happen ... But we can "read" the story told by the fossils.'

Evolution is one of an excellent Let's-Read-and-Find-Out series, that I enjoyed exploring along with my sons when they were in elementary school.

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