Darwin Day is a celebration to commemorate the anniversary of the birth of the famous scientist Charles Darwin on 12 February. The day is used to highlight Darwin’s contribution to science and to promote science in general. On this day, here we are, with the review of a picture book that tells the youngs minds about Darwin’s work and its importance in a simple lucid language, a great graphic representation.
Author: Jennifer Thermes
Age Range: 5 – 8
This book offers a fascinating and an in-depth look at the voyage Charles Darwin embarked upon aboard the HMS Beagle. Beginning in 1831, and stretching for nearly five long years, Darwin served as a naturalist and explored new places around the world. This helped to shape his future career and life’s work as a natural scientist, which culminated nearly 23 years after his return with the publication of The Origin of Species, arguably Charles Darwin’s most famous work.
Though he was a scientist by profession, Charles Darwin was an explorer at heart. While journeying around South America for the first time aboard a ninety-foot-long ship named the Beagle, Charles collected insects, dug up bones, encountered volcanoes and earthquakes, and even ate armadillo for breakfast! The discoveries he made during this adventure would later inspire ideas that changed how we see the world. The book follows the travels of Charles Darwin while concisely explaining the influence they had on his growing understanding of the interconnectedness of nature.
The book starts with young Charles’ love in searching for insects, birds, rocks, and bones, and sorting his treasures. After finishing school at Cambridge, his Botany professor recommends him as naturalist for the Beagle’s map-making mission around South America. Collecting specimens and recording “big observations about the tiniest of creatures” in his journal, Charles often remains behind to explore while the Beagle sails the coastline. In Tierra del Fuego, he observes the food chain: “The bigger animals couldn’t survive without eating the smaller ones. Charles saw how their lives were all connected.” Exploring the Andes, Charles’ speculations about the effects of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis are proven when he finds seashells embedded in high-elevation rocks. The famous Galápagos Islands stopover gets special attention! The book also includes an in-depth look at Darwin’s later life and research, as well as a spread of 18 additional facts tied to his journey.
Therme’s pencil-and-watercolor maps and illustrations are charming and simple. The images mix full-bleed scenes of bounteous wildlife with maps of the corresponding landscapes, labeling towns, geographic features, and local animals.
Full of interesting facts and beautiful illustrations, this book has garnered recognition as being a notable, outstanding, and best book of nonfiction. It could see use in classrooms discussing history, science, and social studies. Readers will definitely enjoy the large, colorful maps that chart Charles’ thrilling voyage. This book not just captures the excitement of the voyage, but also of the beauty and mystery of nature! A must-have for those interested in wildlife and great read even for younger children.