20 November 2007

Children's books on evolution

I was talking with Sasha last night, and he remembered when he was in 3rd grade and getting a book about atoms and the big bang and how he was telling everyone about what he had learned. I agree, kids are definitely scientists, but most eventually get this curiosity "beaten" out of them. That lead us to think about books about evolution for kids - why not teach them early when they are more receptive to new ideas?

So we came up with a story about natural selection based on the work of Peter and Rosemary Grant that would go something like this:

Freddy the finch was born with a really large beak. Sure his parents had fairly large beaks, but that didn't stop his fellow small juvenile finches from making fun of him. Freddy figured out though that he could eat seeds that were larger than his friends. One day a drought started, and smaller seeds became more and more scarce as it continued not to rain. Freddy could still find large seeds to eat, but most of his friends were not so lucky and eventually died. One day when foraging for seeds, Freddy spotted a female finch with a large beak too! Her name was Frederica, and by next year both Freddy and Frederica had a a few large beaked baby finches of their own. And there was no one there to make fun of them.
(finch picture taken from here)

Looking around though, it does seem that there are a few books on evolution for kids, you can see them here on Amazon.
Life on Earth: The story of evolution looks promising and the illustrations look great too. I should check to see if books like this are available at large book stores.

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