cover image Early Humans

Early Humans

Melvin Berger. Putnam Publishing Group, $13.95 (12pp) ISBN 978-0-399-21476-9

This companion pop-up volume to DinosaursA Lost World and Prehistoric Mammals seeks to explain what human beings were like, from the Australopithecines of three million years ago (about whom little is known) to the Cro-Magnons of 35,000 years ago. The Cro-Magnons and the Neanderthals are given more coverage than the earliest humans, simply because there is more evidence, and therefore more speculation, as to how they may have lived. Gatefold pages and pop-ups add visual interest, although there are few lift-up flaps; some of the illustrations seem to repeat points made elsewhere in the book about comparative skull sizes and skeletal differences. But the topic is fascinating, and the book is likely to inspire most readers to learn more about the species that existed long before homo sapiens arrived on the scene. All ages. (March)