Tonight I ran into artist and author Daniel Loxton on the bus in Vancouver, easy to recognize after a year or so of seeing him on Facebook. We were both fresh from a live recording of The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe at the University of British Columbia. The bus was crowded and we didn’t get much of a chance to chat, but our brief encounter did inspire me to review his excellent kids’ book about evolution, which will soon be become a gift for one of my young friends … now that I’m done with it.
Here’s my micro-review:
As a writer, I'm always feel a bit jealous about how powerfully great illustration communicates. Words just can't do that! The writing in Evolution is solid, but it's the artwork that works. I was delighted by the images in this book as an adult; as a kid, I would have been blown away … and I would have gotten a lot of solid information about biology and evolution along the way. The tone is firmly in the "nature is neat" category, enthusiastically and matter-of-factly communicating essential and interesting biology, no preaching, no lecturing. And with really interesting paintings of dinos and much more from cover to cover!
We all have books that we remember from childhood, and this will surely be a book for the current crop of small humans to remember.