cover image Life Story

Life Story

Eric Maddern. Barron's Educational Series, $11.95 (28pp) ISBN 978-0-8120-5941-0

From the ``tiny, tiny specks, floating about in the sunlit sea'' to the ``two- legged humans who learned to make camps in safe, sheltered places'' this book tries to describe evolution poetically and, in some ways, succeeds. Readers will get a fairly lucid description of the process that began with uni-cellular organisms and resulted in people, and Duff provides striking visual impressions of the worlds of the remote past. In the text, there are absences of fact that can be attributed to the poetic format (the development of backbones are mentioned, but the word vertebrate never appears), but which give this work an indefinable vagueness; that quality is emphasized by the references to time's passing and the repeated use of the phrase ``millions of years.'' In spite of the sacrifice of earthbound information, the book will surely pique interest in the mysterious process of evolution. Ages 6-up. ( June )