There are many books about evolution for children, but Bang! How We Came to Be stands out for its beautiful paintings of ancient life and a detailed yet engaging narrative of “how we came to be.” Written and illustrated by Michael Rubino, and published by Prometheus Books (70 pages, paperback, 2011), the text in this book is geared not for the kindergarten child – like my son – but for older elementary children. However, anyone with an interest in science and art should take a look.
Rubino starts with the oft-quoted “From so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved” (Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species, 1859). Here it works great because he soon offers almost 30 gorgeous color paintings of endless forms. The first few are astronomical and geological in nature, and then it moves on chronologically to the biological lineage leading to humans. While this may seem to favor humans over other forms of life, Rubino does well to describe what other lineages of organisms were up to at the time.
Highly recommended (Amazon.com), and I look forward to reading this with Patrick when he is a little older, but for now we can enjoy the beautiful reconstructions of our ancient ancestors.