Book Tittle: Evolution for Smartypants
Author: Anushka Ravishankar
Illustrator: Pia Alize Hazarika
Publisher: Duckbill (Penguin Random House India)
Recommended Age: 5-8 years
My five year old is a curious child, and while I have tried my best to answer his questions, there are some topics I have avoided reading about, maybe because I thought they are too complicated for his age. One such topic is evolution. This is a topic I have always felt is way too complex to be explained to children, and even adults! However, the book Evolution for Smartypants proved me quite wrong.
The book first explains the concept of species and how small changes take place within species – some dogs have short ears while others have long ears. Then through a lovely story involving birds with different types of beaks on an island, the book explains the concepts of survival of the fittest and natural selection, in a way that my 5 year old can now explain evolution to everyone, even though he may still struggle with his abc’s!
As we read the book, I could see my child slowly understanding the concept and when he finally understood it, it was as if a light bulb had switched on within him – his eyes sparkled. He had now found the answer to one of his most frequently asked questions – why don’t penguins fly? He tried reasoning and understanding how evolution must have made penguins flightless.
From a parent’s perspective, I was just amazed at how the author was able to explain such a complex concept, so simply. It is difficult to decide what exactly my favourite part of the book was – the simplicity with which the complex concept was explained, the beautiful illustrations or Smartypants the Cat and the many jokes it cracks! If you are looking to introduce evolution to your child, look no further – this is the perfect book for little ones, and adults!
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