The Story of Life/Wild Life Adventures

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Wild Adventures
Mick Manning and Brita Granström
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
From making shelters to lying in a tent listening to the dawn chorus or evening serenade, and creating a beach sculpture to cloud watching, there is something to interest and capture the imagination of seasoned ‘outdoorers’ and would-be discoverers of the natural world.
Instructions for all these activities, along with safety warnings and information about the various flora and fauna one might encounter is provided,

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as well as some questions and other comments to prompt further investigations.
The children in the exciting and detailed watercolour illustrations are clearly having great fun and one suspects, learning a lot about the great outdoors at the same time. The whole book made me want to go and join them: I think it will inspire children to do likewise.

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The Story of Life
Catherine Barr, Steve Williams and Amy Husband
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Evolution is a daunting subject to tackle, especially in just 32 pages. The time scale involved- 4.5 billion years, the hostile nature of the newly-formed earth,

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the formation of ‘tiny bits’ – cells in the ocean three billion years ago is so fantastical it is difficult to get one’s head around. However, without talking down to them, Barr and Williams (both of whom have a biological background) have managed admirably to weave together the basic elements of the story of the evolution of life on earth as presently understood into a very accessible, readable narrative for primary school aged readers. It’s certainly not a topic I was introduced to until I began studying zoology at A-level but ‘Evolution and Inheritance’ is now a part of the KS2 science National Curriculum.
There is an abundance of labels and speech bubbles in Amy Husband’s brightly-coloured, mixed media illustrations,, which have a gentle playfulness about them.

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There is also a time line and a glossary and teacher’s notes are available to download at http://www.franceslincoln.com/the-story-of-life.
All in all, a book to excite its readers and perhaps lead them on to further exploration of this engrossing topic.

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