We are tantalizingly close to having a finished book! Here are the first two reviews of Evolution: The Story of Life on Earth. So far so good!
Evolution: The Story of Life on Earth
Jay Hosler, Kevin Cannon, and Zander Cannon, Hill and Wang, $18.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-8090-9476-9
Featuring the same amusing characters as those found in Mark Schultz’s The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA, Hosler’s sequel does for natural selection what its predecessor did for human genetics. The intrepid Glargalian scientist, Bloort 183, has returned and serves as the book’s principal narrator. This time he has invited King Floorsh 727 and Prince Floorsh 418 on a tour of the newly opened Glargalian Holographic Museum of Earth Evolution. Hosler (Clan Apis; Sandwalk Adventures) is also a professor of biology and provides readers with much more than a simple graphic primer on evolution. With the Cannons’ wonderful illustrations providing a visual anchor, Hosler discusses everything from the atomic to the planetary, from endosymbiosis to mass extinction. The book, like its predecessor, may be too dense with information–for instance, the 54 million years of the Cambrian period is covered in a mere six panels. However, readers should find at the end of their journey through Bloort’s Holographic Museum that they’ve learned a tremendous amount about earth’s evolution, and have had more than their fair share of amusement in doing so. (Jan.)
A graphic introduction to evolution, full of cheerfully silly but educational digressions.
Repeating the conceit of their The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA (2009), Hosler (Biology/Juniata Coll.) and the Cannons reintroduce their alien professor, Bloort 183, who delivers an illustrated lecture on the inhabitants of the bizarre, newly discovered planet Earth, which contains the first life known to exist outside the professor’s own world, Glargal. The occasion is an exclusive, pre-opening royal tour of the Glargalian Holographic Museum of Earth Evolution. His audience, King Floorsh 727 and a precocious son, do their pedagogical duty by interjecting appropriate questions. Notwithstanding the comic-book format, Hosler does not dumb down his subject but provides a precise overview of evolution beginning with the cooling of the primordial Earth, the origin of life and the rise of single and multicellular organisms down through geological eras. A comical biography of Charles Darwin leads into an accurate description of the mechanism of natural selection—random variation within a species with survival of advantageous traits—and the text proceeds smoothly to the origin of species, sexual selection, evolutionary constraints, vestigial organs and extinction. Despite the advertising and imaginative, droll illustrations, the book may not win over science-phobic readers, but it’s a solid introduction.
An accessible, nuts-and-bolts explanation of evolution for adults who want a refresher and high-school teachers searching for a simple primer.