Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Can we all say "Ubiquitous?"
"When you consider that 99 percent of all species that have ever existed are now extinct, you realize that the ones who made it--and are thriving--are indeed remarkable." --Joyce Sidman
This is a great book for the youngster in your life that desires to be an evolutionary biologist; or better yet, if you want to grow up to be one--(regardless of your age...I still want to be the Glenda, the Good Witch). The book includes a timeline, glossary, a brief poem nestled on each page about the species being discussed, and a fantastic author's note. The question of "Why do certain species survive?" is an enormous one, and I think the author and illustrator do a really competent job in both explaining each species (a bit of history), and what makes that particular species prone to survival. A poem on each page and colorful illustrations add to the appeal of this book. The more creative types will appreciate the fun and flouncy poetry, while those interested in the science of evolution will enjoy the tidbits of trivia that can be found in the descriptions of each species: which include bacteria, mollusks, squirrels, sharks, and even humans! This is a fun book that conveys a lot of information in a very accessible way. I learned a lot. For instance,
Did you know that.....
1. More than 400 mollusks are discovered each year!
2. Lichen cannot tolerate pollution; they decline in cities with poor air quality.
3. Sharks have amazing immune systems!
4. The Dung Beetle was revered by ancient Egyptians.
5. Geckos can literally break their tail in two to escape from predators.
Just the name of this book made me want to pick it up. Seriously, any author who can use the word "ubiquitous" correctly can't be all bad. Recommended.