Evolution: A Coloring Book
A die-cut history of how the dinosaurs became birds and humans rose from the sea.
By Maria Popova
We were once amoebae, and here we are today, singing opera and typing on iPhones with opposable thumbs. That alone is enough marvel to put the petty nuisances of everyday life in perspective and fill our human hearts with humility.
As a lover of unusual coloring books and of science-oriented children’s books, especially ones that replace myth with science, I was instantly smitten with Evolution: A Coloring Book (public library) by London-based Finnish illustrator Annu Kilpeläinen — the best thing since Darwin’s graphic biography.
This simple yet imaginative primer on science via art explores natural selection, continental drift, what killed the dinosaurs, how birds descended from them, and all the other processes and phenomena that took us to where we are today. Die-cut delights add an element of interactive playfulness to the classic coloring-book experience.
One particularly apt application of the die-cut technique is a series of pages which, through strategically placed cuts, invite an exploration of how human facial features evolved.
Complement Evolution: A Coloring Book with Richard Dawkins’s The Magic of Reality, then revisit the wonderful science primers You Are Stardust and Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space.
For a fascinating grownup take on evolution, see the science of how bees gave Earth its colors.
Published October 29, 2014