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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
How Life on Earth Began
by Aina Bestard
Age Range: 9-11
How Life on Earth Began is another clever and exquisitely designed large-format picture book from Spanish illustrator Aina Bestard that gives an overview of what the earth looked like 300 million years ago. From the evolution of life through fossils, dinosaurs and the first humans, this book is packed with information.
The ten chapters with clear and concise text, translated from Spanish by Matthew Clarke, start with a geological history of the timeline of the earth followed by traces of the past which examines how rocks and fossils help us to understand its history. The following chapters explore how the universe began to form; how the stars and planets were created with the Big Bang; how the earth began to take shape and the first signs of microscopic life under the sea; the new species that filled the earth to an explosion of life that evolved into thousands of different forms which became the ancestors of the plants and animals of today; the age of the Dinosaurs and in the final chapter how mammals rule the earth as dinosaurs became extinct.
Readers can discover the different types of fossils or explore ancient skeletons with lift-the-flaps or study the detailed and stunning illustrations together with the clever overlaid transparencies which allow us to discover layers of history showing the universe in all its forms.
At the back of the book the author has provided a very apt message for children (and adults) – “One day in the far-off future, humans might go extinct. What’s more, our actions are creating fast and dangerous changes to our climate and environment. These could change our history for ever. It is up to us to decide what we want our Earth to look like in the future.”
A beautifully crafted book with striking visual content that is sure to engage lively interest in how life began on earth.
Other titles by Bestard reviewed on the website include: What's Hidden in the Woods? (2015) and Amazing Animal Babies (2018).