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NONFICTION

Evolution: The Story of Life on Earth

Beetle Bks. Jun. 2020. 96p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781913077723.
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Gr 1-4–This illustrated nonfiction book explains Earth’s evolutionary time line from the formation of the planet during the Precambrian era to the modern Quaternary era. Most of the title focuses on the age of dinosaurs (about 300–65 million years ago) and covers some of the more well-known varieties. There are plenty of details and facts that might surprise seasoned readers of paleontology. An Acanthostega narrator named Ackerley brings a great deal of humor to the text, which is easy to understand for the majority of the target audience. Further details of early life, the changing ecosystem, and how mammals became the dominant creatures on Earth will fill in information gaps that often get overlooked when studying the prehistoric planet. Minister’s CGI illustrations dip a bit into the uncanny valley, but the art offers a sense of charm and quirkiness that will make readers smile.
VERDICT A great classroom library addition or for die-hard dino fans looking for expanded history.

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