Sunday, November 29, 2009

What Came First?

Tundra Books
Sandro Natalini

At first glance, I thought this book was intended for younger children. I expected it to be a basic debate of the age old question - What came first, the chicken or the egg? Possibly a humorous look into the explanations of both sides of the argument.

Instead, the book takes a huge step backward to explain the Big Bang theory and the following eras. It goes on to explain the process of evolution and how some creatures have successfully managed to adapt and evolve over the years, while others have become extinct.

There is a lot of information contained in this small book, almost overwhelmingly so. The writing and subject matter seem to be aimed at older children. An excerpt: "Scientists think that the steam from years of volcanic eruptions formed storm clouds loaded with rain. That rain formed enormous expanses of water - the first oceans."

In contrast, the drawings and fonts are more childish. The illustrations are brightly colored, while the fonts vary in size and shape. The result is an unbalanced book that seems like it would have a difficult time finding an ideal audience. It seems that it might work for younger, very intelligent children, who have the ability to understand advanced subjects, but not the average child.

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