Do you know how human beings evolved? I thought I had an adequate knowledge of where I came from until I picked up Tracey Turner’s How to Make a Human out of Soup: The Story of Evolution. Condensing four billion years of life on Earth into one slim paperback and making it accessible to young readers is no small feat. Luckily Tracey Turner, author of numerous non-fiction titles for children, and prolific illustrator Sally Kindberg are up to the task. Turner’s use of humour, quick quizzes and true-or-false questioning combined with Kindberg’s fun and informative illustrations ensure that the reader will be highly engaged and entertained throughout the ten fascinating chapters.
Not only does the book tackle the huge question of how life on Earth began, it also explores the interesting topics of chromosomes, mutants, fossils, and the first primates. It is teeming with evolutionary information. I found Chapter Two particularly interesting with details of the discoveries of scientists Charles Darwin and the lesser known (at least to me) Alfred Russell Wallace. Young readers will also delight in the instructions on how to extract your own DNA and how to make your own fossils. There is, finally, a very useful timeline provided and a glossary of tricky evolutionary words at the back of the book.
DNA, dinosaurs and dazzling discoveries: this book has got it all. It is the perfect gift for the budding Darwin or indeed, Wallace, in your life!