Charles Darwin and Evolution:
A Simplistic Approach for a Complex Idea

In my children's book "Charles Darwin and Evolution" by Yoming S. Lin, they beautifully articulate many events and characteristics of Charles Darwin's discoveries without falling into the territory of being too complicated for a children's book dealing with serious scientific ideals.  The book frequently begins explaining a concept using more vague, general information, which allows it to identify with the youngest of readers. Then they'll often readdress the same or similar ideas with using more factual and complex information giving the book less levity and more of the seriousness needed for a children's book aimed at a critical scientific principle. This can be further seen with the timeline, glossary, and more in-depth explanations of  scientific ideas found at the end of the book for anyone who wanted to know more or didnt understand something.

The book begins addressing who Darwin was and the basic principles of his theory of evolution, before moving into his childhood. They detail how Darwin was born into a wealthy family and how he originally was studying medicine, like his father, before he started studying geology at Cambridge. It was from his experience with geology that led to him being included on an expedition with the HMS Beagle as their nature and geology expert who would study the local rocks, flowers, and fauna. From there they describe how Darwin, from his teachings in geology, began to wonder if species change over time similar to how rocks shape slowly over time. This only went further once he began noticing the difference of beaks of the several finches on the various Galapagos. From this he is able to begin theorizing the process of natural selection where animals with less useful traits would die out over time, effectively giving way for a better species. He spent the next 20 years pondering this new theory of his before finally releasing a book on his intial findings, then over a decade later he released another book that alleged the entire human race are descendants of primates that went through evolution and natural selection. Despite the church being rather upset at these assertions, his theories were well met by many of his fellow scientists and are still being developed upon today.

This book finds a steady pace of being able to deliver important facts and details while remaining simplistic enough to cater to children, as opposed to the children's book on Galileo, "Galileo Journal: 1609-1610" by Jeanne Pettenati. This book simply follows Galileo's creative process behind him discovering and using the telescope to explore the stars. Its apparent they try to cater this one to children much more from its lack of  sustenance, to the inclusion of a dog whose name is Luna (Italian for moon). Despite it being an interesting look into the creative process behind the discoveries of Galileo. They only briefly go into the details of his theories, leaving no lasting memories besides that of the telescope development and that lie of a dog of his. The two books approaches are very different, as evidenced from their comparative differences of viable information. With that being said, both books still do a great job of introducing important scientific principles to children who normally would never find out about things like this until much later in their education.

Konnor Karpinski