Author/Illustrator: Clémence Dupont
Release Date: March 19th, 2019
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration
The story of life on earth unfolds in dramatic fashion in this amazing picture book that takes readers from 4.6 billion years ago to the present day.
It’s difficult to grasp the enormous changes life on Earth has undergone since it first came into existence, but this marvellously illustrated book makes learning about our planet’s fascinating history easy and entertaining. In an accordion style, the series of pages take readers through every major geological period, with bright artwork and detailed drawings. Opening on lava-filled oceans and smoking volcanoes, the book unfolds, era by era, to show how life evolved from tiny protozoa and crustaceans to dinosaurs and mammals. Fully expanded to 8 meters (26 feet), this spectacular visual timeline is a very impressive panorama that reveals evolution in all its glory. Each page is brimming with illustrations that readers will turn to again and again. A celebration of life, this extraordinary and beautiful book illuminates the history of Earth for young readers in an unforgettable and delightful way.
A Brief History of Life on Earth Review
A Brief History of Life on Earth is a great book to experience. It’s not bound traditionally. Instead it is one continuous page that you can pull out…and out…and out! We didn’t have room in our living room to fully extend it, but we loved it. Where turning pages in a book can segment things in your mind, the layout of this book enables you to experience the timeline in a more flowing fashion. It makes more of a difference than one might think.
The simple, playful artistic renditions of the eras and somewhat muted earth tones are very pleasing to the eye. It’s a soothing experience, looking back through ages and coming slowly to our time. The illustrations are perfect for the age range (6-9), but I think even some older kids would be able to enjoy them as well. My daughter isn’t particularly into dinosaurs or history, will be ten very shortly, and firmly stated this book would be going into her personal library. She’s also ADD and prefers very attention-grabbing things, so I was happily surprised that this caught her attention like it did.
A Brief History of Life on Earth is Clémence Dupont’s first book. I can’t wait to see what she does in the future. While I’m a bit – heh – outside the intended age range I found myself coming back to the book multiple times over the course of a week. The wording is a bit advanced, so I can see this being one for most parents to enjoy with their child rather than the kiddo going it completely alone. (Unless they’re very into dinosaurs. That might make a huge difference.)
Overall, it’s beautifully illustrated (I’ve included an interior shot below so you can see what I’m talking about – although the cover definitely gives you a sense of what to expect) and the prose is nice and brief. It’s a gorgeous book to have on your child’s shelf. It might also be fun if pulled out occasionally in a classroom.