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Darwin: A Graphic Biography [Paperback]

Eugene Byrne , Simon Gurr
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

5 Feb 2013
Darwin: A Graphic Biography is an inspiring expedition into the physical and intellectual adventures of Charles Darwin. Presenting Darwin's life in a smart and entertaining graphic novel, Darwin: A Graphic Biography attempts to not only educate the reader about Darwin but also the scientific world of the 1800s. The graphic medium is ideal for recreating a very specific time frame, succeeding in placing the reader right next to a young Darwin on a "beetling" expedition. With specimens in both hands, and anxious to get another, Darwin ends up stuffing the third beetle into his mouth. Darwin's life presented in this form is an inspirational tale for kids of all ages. They'll be sure to identify with a curious young Darwin finding his way on youthful adventures in the fields near his house. The ups, downs, and near-misses of Darwin's youth are portrayed honestly and without foreshadowing of his later fame. This is a key point for younger readers: that Darwin wasn't somehow predestined to greatness. He was curious, patient, and meticulous. He persevered--a great lesson about what science is all about.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Books (DC) (5 Feb 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1588343529
  • ISBN-13: 978-1588343529
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.1 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 266,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a great read and the combination of words and pictures makes this a lot of fun.

I already had a layman's understanding of evolution and this fleshed out a lot of the background to how Darwin himself developed it.

One tiny gripe is that the story on the back cover about Darwin having 3 bugs to carry and putting one in his mouth isn't illustrated!

If you're in charge of buying books for schools, get this in bulk.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just about perfect. 23 April 2013
By Greg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Stunningly entertaining and filled with interesting facts and stories. Starting the book with the prediction that Darwin made, that if there was a flower with a 10" tubular blossom there must also be a pollinator with a proboscis long enough to reach that far, is a great framing device for the usefulness of Darwin's theory, and the way the man's mind worked.

The artwork, selection of facts and stories, and touches of sometimes wry, sometimes silly humor go a long way toward propelling the reader through a whirlwind tour of biography and biology. The reference toward the end to Human Genome Project hero Francis Collins, a brilliant scientist by any measure, and a committed evangelical Christian, initially seemed a little gratuitous to me (especially given that earlier on, I thought we had sort of dispensed with the religious view), but I can see that the authors wished to make sure that the facts of evolution were available to everyone, regardless what extra-scientific commitments they might also hold.

It is a mistake to idolize Darwin too much. He was after all merely a man, but a smart, generous, solid man, I think; a good family man, filled with empathy and insight. But he got things wrong, and was a product of his times, as well. One great purpose to which Darwin can be put is to provide a narrative by which we can come to understand the rudiments of evolution. This graphic novel does that with as much economy, grace, and fun as I've ever seen.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and informative 3 Mar 2014
By Deb Oestreicher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This illustrated biography of Darwin gives a nice overview of Darwin's life and ideas. It's fun to read the biography as a comic book and it may do a better job of engaging younger readers.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not sure who this is aimed at 7 Feb 2014
By Karen Y. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love the concept of teaching science history through a graphic novel but I was not impressed with the story being told as a premise of a nature docu-drama. I'm not sure to which audience that part was targeted, and it cheapened the subject. With that said, I hope the author continues to create these. Or that other people adopt this media for expanding science communication.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Insightful 9 April 2013
By kambizT - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very nice view and short look to Darwin's mind and his life. The book is not just about life chronology, it has many funny points and additional information as well.
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