Evolution Hardcover – 4 Feb 2011
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"It is not often that the books I am asked to review go missing. After hours of searching, I found the errant item, with the spine cracked, in my teenage son's room--an otherwise book-free zone. I can offer no higher recommendation . . . I am not sure why comic books make words like alpha-proteobacteria less daunting, but they do. Every classroom should have this book." --"New Scientist" "Written by a nonalien biologist and illustrated by a talented (and nonrelated) duo in cartoon format, this book is funny, fun, and authoritative, and includes talking mitochondria and a charming song-and-dance routine by a male bowerbird seeking to be sexually selected." --Dolly Setton, "Natural History Magazine" "The most accessible graphic work on this universally studied subject." --Ian Paulsen, "The Guardian" blog "It's hard to imagine instructional science cartooning better than this." --"Booklist" "If you like comics, you'll like this book. If you're interested in evolution, you'll like it even better. It's got a lot of information presented with a lot of fun. Ideal for high school and college students and teachers, and anyone who wants to enjoy the story of evolution." --Kevin Padian, President, National Center for Science Education "From obsequious extraterrestrials to s'mores-eating early humans, this serious comic book manages to be fun and entertaining as well as accurate. (Maybe not about ancestral marshmallows, but readers will sort out the humor and snark from the science!) The story of evolution on Earth has rarely been presented in quite so entertaining a manner." --Eugenie C. Scott, Executive Director, National Center for Science Education "Biology is a dynamic subject and I am always looking for new ways to reach my teenage students. "Evolution" was an excellent way to reinforce the concepts we cover in class. The graphic novel was written and illustrated in such a way that automatically grabbed the students' interest. Students learn best when they are having fun in the midst of it. This entertaining and engaging book makes learning enjoyable." --Bertha Vasquez, biology teacher, G.W. Carver Middle School, Miami, FL
About the Author
Jay Hosler is a professor of biology at Juniata College and the author/illustrator of two graphic novels and several science cartoons. Kevin Cannon and Zander Cannon, illustrators of numerous graphic novels and comic books, live in Minneapolis.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I suppose that's what "Evolution" does for me. If books like this existed when I was a kid, I didn't know about them, and I spent benighted decades preferring magical answers to actual science. This book, with its great information and frankly kind of juvenile presentation, helps make me feel more like a kid again, making old discoveries for a first time. That's some real magic.
This book is a great introduction to evolution (and I may never get over the introductory phase) with plenty of information about biology, genetics, natural selection and other evolutionary topics. I love the way it manages to correct pre-conceived notions about evolution (like the believe that evolution is a natural progression to the better when it really is about adapting to the environmental conditions).
The only problem I had with this book was the way that the author chose to frame it with cute aliens telling the story. There are way too many asides to the cute kid alien saying some point with the cute tutor alien being a complete toady. This stuff is cute but a little goes a long way and this book tends to get too cute.
It of course helps that Hosler knows his material quite well, but it's also beneficial that he's got a great sense of humor, so none of this scientific exploration becomes too dry. It's funny and clever, and Hosler manages to cover an incredible amount of material throughout the book's 150 pages, discussing all manner of life forms on earth and how they all got to where they are now.
He's ably assisted by the illustrative team of Kevin and Zander Cannon, who got their feet wet with The Stuff of Life before really knocking it out of the park here. As great as Hosler's knowledge and wit can be, they would fall decidedly short if not for the Cannons' enticing artwork and ability to cram so many panels on a page.
This is a book that would be a great addition to a high school science class, as well as school libraries. For that matter, adults wishing to brush up on evolution and learn how it's been proven, over and over again, would find a great resource here.
Reviewed by John Hogan