Saturday, February 13, 2016

Review of LIVING FOSSILS in Booklist

Title page of Living Fossils: Clues to the Past (Charlesbridge, 2016)
I was pleased to receive this very nice review of LIVING FOSSILS: Clues to the Past in the January 1 and 15 issue of Booklist.

The discovery of a living coelacanth, a fish previously known only from 65-million year-old fossils, leads off this introduction in “living fossils,” current animal species that researchers can study to learn about their prehistoric ancestors. Through the book, Arnold’s writing is concise, descriptive, and informative. Illustrated with large nicely composed acrylic paintings that show the creatures within their natural habitats, the text presents five additional species: the horseshoe crab, dragonfly, tuatara, chambered nautilus, and Hula painted frog. The first spread in each four-page section features the animal in prehistoric times, while the second discussed the animal as it is today. This now-and-then structure works well to tell the two-part story of each organism. Back matter includes a time line, more detailed information on species, and a note clarifying that though the ancient and modern animals may share the same name and basic appearance, they did evolve and are not identical. An intriguing look at animals, past and present, and a fine addition to the science shelves.  Carolyn Phelan, Booklist, January 1 and 15, 2016

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