I can't remember the name of this kids' book about evolution.
December 20, 2011 7:06 PM   Subscribe

Help me find this children's book about evolution that I used to read as a kid.

I can't remember the name, and I have only a vague recollection of what it looked like. Here are some hints:

1) Primarily what I remember are the illustrations, which looked a bit like mosaics -- a dinosaur's skin looked like it was made up of small pebbles -- even though I'm pretty sure they were actually paintings.

2) I'm pretty sure it covered most of the history of life, starting with single-celled organisms and going up to humans. At one point, when the dinosaurs go extinct, mammals are shown as coming out of the shadows and entering into their prime, and the early mammals look something like lemurs. It also definitely covered the Ice Age, and there were some bleak paintings of Ice Age humans trying to survive.

3) Possibly the word "When" was in the title? E.g., "When The Earth Was Young," although I googled that and only got Young Earth Creationism.

4) I was reading this book, I think, some time between 1978 and 1985.

5) The book was definitely formatted in "landscape" orientation, rather than portrait.

6) I'm pretty sure there were dinosaurs on the cover -- maybe coming out of eggs? (Although that might have been on the inside. But there was definitely a dinosaur hatching somewhere in the book!)

That's all the information I have, but I remember loving this book and would love to get it for my kid!
posted by thehandsomecamel to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Is it How Life on Earth Began? It matches your cover and art style memories, and just sneaks into your timeline.
posted by grapesaresour at 7:23 PM on December 20, 2011

That's close, all right, but I feel sure the illustrations for this book were in color. (Point #7, I guess.)
posted by thehandsomecamel at 7:28 PM on December 20, 2011

I think I have this book somewhere at my mum's (sadly, 3000km away so I can't check). And maybe three or four others in the same series, which from memory all started with either "When.." or "How...". I definitely remember one showing how a rock came to be where and what it was. Very bright & colourful illustrations which I think were collages? Does any of this sound familiar?
posted by Wantok at 7:50 PM on December 20, 2011

Wantok -- oh, were they collages? That could be. I don't remember having any others in a series, but I'm willing to believe they existed....
posted by thehandsomecamel at 7:55 PM on December 20, 2011

Thinking about this a bit more I might have the wrong books. Mine all began with "I am a.." eg. "I am a rock", "I am a fish". I've tried googling them but some new Scholastic books with the same titles are poisoning the search. They were all about evolution which is bizarre as my mum is a nutjob xtian who would NEVER in a million years let me have them if she knew what they were about.
posted by Wantok at 8:24 PM on December 20, 2011

Was it Life On Earth?
posted by fshgrl at 10:10 PM on December 20, 2011

Life Story, maybe?
posted by Ratio at 11:28 PM on December 20, 2011

So far, none of these is the one I'm thinking of, though they are all interesting and give me hope for the possibility of a good substitute, at least!
posted by thehandsomecamel at 3:10 PM on December 21, 2011

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