We Are Human Animals

Eerdmans. Mar. 2023. 52p. pap. $18.99. ISBN 9780802856012.
K-Gr 3–In her quest to connect young readers with prehistoric humans, Haine spoke with an archaeologist and visited caves, ultimately developing this contemplative work of nonfiction, which asks readers to reflect on our connections to our early ancestors. The book addresses early human relationships with animals, art, religion, and the development of language and community. Kinetic digital illustrations use handmade textures to emphasize the rough-hewn yet meaningful lives of prehistoric humans. An author’s note at the end provides more details on the development of the book and features a number of illustrated examples of prehistoric art. All people featured in the book are European, but have dark skin and eyes, which is historically accurate to how Europeans of 25,000 years ago looked (per the author’s note). Given technological and social advancements, humans often forget our basic nature as animals. Here is an excellent reminder of those connections and beyond.
VERDICT Hand this book to kids dreaming about cave-dwelling eras, and be prepared to discuss the similarities. A solid choice for most collections.

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