At 22, as he prepares to enter the clergy, Charles Darwin is offered the position of naturalist on the HMS Beagle’s expedition to South America. But in 1831, a sea voyage is as unthinkable as a modern-day foray into outer space. His father objects to the outlandish scheme, but with the help of a persuasive uncle, Darwin eventually receives permission to sail. And so he sets off, fully expecting to take his orders at the end of the two-year expedition. Instead, he returns in five, a full-fledged genius who would one day write a book that truly changed the world. What Mr. Darwin Saw is a lively and accessible look at the journey of the HMS Beagle. Readers learn about life on board the ship for Darwin, the captain and crew, and the expedition’s artist; their encounters with slavery; how specimens were collected; the scientific basis for the Biblical flood; Darwin’s adventures in Galapagos, Australia, and other countries and continents; and much more.
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Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom have won many awards for their picture information books, including the Smarties Silver Award and the English Association Award. Their books for Frances Lincoln include The Beatles, Charles Dickens: Scenes from an Extraordinary Life, What Mr Darwin Saw, Tail-End Charlie, Taff in the WAAF, The Secrets of Stonehenge, Dino-Dinners, Woolly Mammoth, the Fly on the Wall series: Roman Fort, Viking Longship, Pharaoh's Egypt and Greek Hero, and Nature Adventures. They have four sons, and divide their time between the North of England and Brita's homeland of Sweden. Find out more about their books at www.mickandbrita.com.MICK MANNINGÿandÿBRITA GRANSTRÖMÿhave developed a unique approach to picture information books over the last 21 years. Sharingÿthe illustration between them and mixing words and pictures in inventive ways, they have won many awards, including the Smarties SilverÿAward, and are five-times winners of the English Association Award. Mick fell in love with wildlife on primary school nature walks many yearsÿago, and has an MA in Natural History Illustration from the Royal College of Art. Brita grew up on a farm, and has an MFA from Konstfack inÿStockholm. They spend a lot of their time having both Swedish and British Wild Adventures with their four children. Their other books for Frances Lincoln include:ÿThe Beatles;ÿCharles Dickens,ÿScenes from an Extraordinary Life;ÿWhatÿMr Darwin Saw;ÿTail-End Charlie;ÿTaff in the WAAF;ÿThe Secrets of Stonehenge;ÿWoolly Mammoth;ÿandÿtheÿFly on the Wallÿseries:ÿRomanÿFort, Viking Longship;ÿPharoah's Egypt;ÿGreek Hero.From School Library Journal:
Grade 3–6—A somewhat bug-eyed Darwin tells the story of his journey on the Beagle and the development of his theory of evolution. Journal entries make good use of quotations from his own writing, while captioned insets add information on the people, animals, places, and ideas he encountered on the historic trip. The authors make it clear that Darwin was aware of the controversial nature of his theory, quoting, "Publishing my theory felt like confessing a murder." Cartoon illustrations in pencil and watercolor aim for the gross and startling aspects of the adventure: blood spewing from a screaming man having his leg amputated without anesthetic, a seasick Darwin vomiting over the side of the Beagle, or spitting a beetle out of his mouth. In a crowded field of picture-book biographies, this title is not as strong as Kathryn Lasky's One Beetle Too Many (Candlewick), Rosalyn Schanzer's What Darwin Saw (National Geographic), or Alice B. McGinty's Darwin (Houghton, all 2009).—Ellen Heath, Easton Area Public Library, Easton, PA
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