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Evolution [Hardcover]

Daniel Loxton , Jim W W Smith
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 11.18
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Book Description

13 Jun 2014
An accessible and spectacularly illustrated introduction to the theory of evolution, from Charles Darwin to modern-day science. Evolution is the process that created the terrible teeth of Tyrannosaurus rex and the complex human brain, clever enough to understand the workings of nature. Young readers will learn how a British naturalist named Charles Darwin studied nature and developed his now-famous concepts of natural selection and survival of the fittest. And how modern-day science has added to our understanding of the theory of evolution. Can something as complex and wondrous as the natural world be explained by a simple theory? The answer is yes, and now Evolution explains how in a way that makes it easy to understand.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press (13 Jun 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554534305
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554534302
  • Product Dimensions: 28.5 x 22.4 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 206,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

What could have been a dreary march through the fossil records is kept light and accessible by Loxton's sense of humor and breezy prose style.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprised and moved ... 17 Mar 2010
Format:Hardcover
... by how wonderful it was to get into this so early with our 4 year old son. Much more than trying to be too clever too soon with a book aimed for children over 8 years old, reading this with our young son has been really important and moving. It has meant so, so much to enter into conversations, questions and answers about how he came to be as a mix of our genes and from creatures before us ... to be able to tell him how special he is and life is, and for it all to be so real and easy for him. He's stormed through the first half (Part 1) of the book, really understanding the initial pages and not wanting to turn back when it gets a little tougher. Hitting Part 2 now, it feels weird and wonderful that the way it addresses common arguments and questions is almost completely irrelevant and inappropriate for him to worry about at his age.

This book has shown us as parents, who had maybe thought that Evolution would be a bit too much for a 4 year old, that actually it opens up not just the science and reason side of it all (which is a topic for later really), but the real personal magic of life and what it says about us and our and our son's place in the world ... for real.

The way it's worded, I found allowed me to very naturally and easily put as much emphasis, excitement and the odd detour into my own thoughts and expression of a topic i'm very excited by, as i wanted ...

... i wish there were more books that focused more and purely on the actual science, aimed for this younger age group - forgetting about the 'arguments against' and just thriving in the really exciting and interesting stuff for children.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Written for a North American audience 4 Sep 2010
Format:Hardcover
I purchased this based on the other reviews, hoping it would be a good introduction to evolution for my son.

It is a reasonable introduction (I have a BSc in Biology with a specific interest in evolution), but not as good as I was hoping. My biggest criticism of it is that it seems to have been written for the USA/Canadian audience, and so quite a lot of the content is addressing the type of objections to evolution that creationists have. If children have not been brought up in that environment, it means that the a lot of the book is setting up and then knocking down straw-man arguements, such as "haven't human footprints been found with dinosaur prints?", "isn't the eye too complex to have formed by evolution?", "What about the intemdiary forms of fossils that are missing?" etc. I don't think this is a good way to introduce evolution to a child finding out about it for the first time.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading 21 April 2010
Format:Hardcover
The only useful text I have found on the subject for a 10 year old

Was read and discussed with enthusiasm
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Format:Hardcover
A really well-written book. It is attractively presented, and clear in content with the right level of language appropriate for this age group. I think Daniel Loxton, the author, must have had actual experience of teaching and writing for youngster at this level to perform the task so well.

I bought the book for my grandchildren and greatly enjoyed reading the book myself before handing it over.
I 'm a retired teacher with many years experience of teaching this age group. If back in the classroom I would have no hesitation in buying a set of these books and recommending them

I hope the publishers will produce more books which are as well written and illustrated as this one.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  46 reviews
93 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for kids 27 Jan 2010
By John Shepherd - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a great kid's book about evolution. However, adults will also find it well worth reading. While it explains the substance of evolution in the straight forward way typical of a "children's" book, it presents illustrations, explanations, and examples useful for those of us who do not happen to be a biologist, geologist or similar type of scientist. The last chapter discusses many of the misconceptions about evolution without being condescending or "preachy." Many books on evolution are fairly technical and often rather dry. This book is neither. For some of us, this could be the "missing link" enabling us to better understand more comprehensive writing and discussions on evolution. Buy it for your kids but read it before you give it to them!
53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book for any age 27 Jan 2010
By David Peterman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Even though this book is targeted for kids 8-13, it is so well-written and beautiful to look at that it can be appreciated by anyone of any age. It's not often that an incredibly complex process is explained in such a lucid, straightforward manner... maybe the author could tackle string theory next?!
39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent children's book on evolution 27 Jan 2010
By Alric Lopez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Breathtaking illustrations with lucid explanations that are not dumbed down for children; just very accessible.
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent primer on evolution for both kids and adults 2 Aug 2010
By B. Radford - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Evolution by natural selection is not necessarily clear or intuitive. Evolution is not inherently obvious; it is a slow, complex process with many nuances. Whether stunted by a poor educational system or religious fundamentalists, it is a minor tragedy that one of the greatest scientific ideas in history remains the subject of dispute.

That is why books like Loxton's Evolution are important. This book is aimed at children and teens who want a solid understanding of evolution's fundamentals. Loxton has a lot of ground to cover, and he begins by noting that different fossils are found in different geological strata--a fact that suggested to early researchers that many now-extinct animals had once roamed the planet (and much longer ago than most people could imagine). Evolution goes on to touch on a wide variety of subjects related to evolution, from DNA to the alleged "living dinosaur" mokele-mbembe. Along the way, new concepts such as species and mutation are introduced, often in the form of posed questions. Charles Darwin's experiments are briefly described, including his research into avian inbreeding and the variations in beaks in isolated populations of Galapagos island finches. The elements of evolution are explained in terms that are neither dumbed-down nor too complex for its target audience.

Loxton, editor of Junior Skeptic, also shows off his considerable illustration skills. The book is clearly written for children, and eye-catching graphics are of course a necessity. Every page has one or more enticing, full-color images illustrating everything from dinosaurs to the bird-dinosaur Archaeopteryx to cute, flirty little zebra-like things called Zooks. This helps reinforce the important concept that evolution is not a stale, dry theory dusted off from irrelevant history or science books but instead a real, active process occurring all around us at this very moment. It's rare to find such an accessible, dynamic treatment of the subject of evolution.

Evolution also wisely anticipates and addresses some of the most common anti-evolution fallacies (such as that the eye is too complex to have evolved naturally). This feature alone makes the book better than other simplified descriptions of evolution because it inoculates readers against bogus creationist arguments they may hear but would be otherwise unable to answer. I hope that 150 years from now books on evolution, such as those by Richard Dawkins and Loxton, will be considered obsolete, a redundant parroting of basic facts that every schoolchild knows. Until then, the world is sorely in need of high-quality, accessible science and skeptical books for teens and children, and Loxton's book is an excellent and long-overdue introduction to evolution.
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evolution, with a side order of critical thinking 21 Jun 2010
By D. Wilkinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for my daughters, and we've been going through it together. The kids love it--I suspect that the gorgeous illustrations and the conversational tone really help there--and I'm very appreciative of the way the material is presented. All the material is engaging, and Loxton doesn't talk down to his young audience. While my two (both almost 7) still need a little help with some of the concepts, I'm sure that they'd have no problem with most of it on their own in a year or two. The question-and-answer portion of the second half of the book, in particular, is almost like a little introduction to critical thinking.

We liked it so much we bought copies for our (cash-strapped) town and elementary school libraries--not sure I can give it a stronger recommendation than that!
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