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Quick Things You Need To Know:
Sometimes people ask me for books about evolution to counter books about faith. Being spiritual and understanding science are not mutually exclusive. The people who believe evolution is a hoax don’t believe that because of their faith. They don’t believe in scientific theories or data because they are closed-minded or ignorant or just don’t know what science is.
So when we pretend that evolution & faith are at opposite sides of a scale, that’s discriminatory toward people of faith and stigmatizes people of faith as ignorant. Problem!
That said, I do have some decent books about evolution that we tested during a short bout of evolution hyper focus, if you’re into STEAM topics or homeschooling.
Mostly I’m just setting these into a quick list to get them out of my way until I can incorporate them into a longer series about death positivity. Something about how our physical bodies are connected to the universe. That kind of thing.
- Although the 1-star reviews for some of these books by folks claiming evolution is a hoax are hilarious. And terrifying.
- I’ve actively stopped researching this topic – so if you have new good finds, leave a comment to add to the list
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Quick & Messy Book List:
One Day A Dot (Lendler) – big bang, creation of earth,. very simple, good for 5+ but not a story so much, so it’s only good for a few reads. nice though.
Grandmother Fish – tweet – 3.75yo almost understood but it goes over his head. he still enjoys and loves the book. at 5.5, Q firmly understands it and also loves it, and was excited to see the pattern in a long, long, long time ago reduced with each grandmother. fun book that we enjoyed discussing, but leaps were a little big and would have liked to see iterative smaller versions of evolution as an example.
Life Story: the beginning of the universe, earth, and life up until now – (virginia lee burton) This 1962 classic is gorgeously illustrated but a bit too detailed to hold the attention of my littles at 3 & 5. I plan to introduce it in mid-elementary school.
you are stardust – evolution on a broader cosmic scale that gives us a chance to discuss conservation of mass. the conservation of energy and matter, how we all started out as dust in the cosmos. combines the science of what makes us and how we are all connected. not directly addressing death, but comforting to know we stay connected and the particles that we interact with, produce, and that make us up stay in the universe and never disappear. Q liked this for one read at 4y and found it interesting to discuss. He refused to read this at 5.5 because he remembered reading it less than a year ago, but I managed to get him through it by looking at the interesting art. the illustrations are REALLY cool. age range 4.5+ but better for 6+ when they can focus on the details, about saltyness of the ocean in our tears and blood, but at any age, they refuse to read it twice. death positivity, AAPI makers (Korean American)
This Phenomenal Life – blaise – cute and interesting, kind of the next level to ‘you are stardust’ but more spun toward pre-teens focusing on factois with the main ways all life is similar and xonnected. try again at 6 or 7. elements and big bang and. religion, evolution, biology, life ,STEAM
- I used to be a fish – sullivan – cute, funny, and simple. ages 4+ very few steps, kind of redundant if you’re read grandmother fish, so I’d read this one first if they’re too young for Grandmother fish. very simplistic version, and it makes it sound like he was a fish who just grew legs, so that leaves it up to the adult to explain the concept of generations and mutations. but a really great and simple intro for very young kids. not so much accurate as conceptual.
- Our Family Tree: An Evolution Story – We found this informative but boring (no story). shows evolution of our ancestors from the beginning of life through dinosaurs to humans. kids had a hard time sitting through it, but i dunno, it was fine. there are better books, so it’s safe to skip this.
Are we allowed to suggest books? Little Changes by Tiffany Taylor is an EXCELLENT book on how the evolutionary process happens. I’m very picky about books on evolution for my kids, and have returned many to the library without even showing them to my kids because they’re off/useless/confusing. Little Changes is one we return to again and again.