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THE TREE OF LIFE

Sis, Peter.

377 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0374456283 / ISBN 13: 9780374456283
Published by Farrar Straus Giroux., NY:, 2003
From Kathmandu Books (Winter Park, FL, U.S.A.)

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HC in dust jacket. 1st Printing. A fine copy in a fine dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 22913

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Bibliographic Details

Title: THE TREE OF LIFE

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux., NY:

Publication Date: 2003

Edition: 1st edition

About this title

Synopsis:

In this brilliant presentation of a revolutionary thinker's life, the picture book becomes an art form

As far as I can judge, I am not apt to follow blindly the lead of other men . . .

Charles Darwin was, above all else, an independent thinker who continues even now to influence the way we look at the natural world. His endless curiosity and passion for detail resulted in a wealth of notebooks, diaries, correspondence, and published writings that Peter Sís transforms into a visual treasure trove. A multilayered journey through Darwin's world, The Tree of Life begins with his childhood and traces the arc of his life through university and career, following him around the globe on the voyage of the Beagle, and home to a quiet but momentous life devoted to science and family. Sís uses his own singular vision to create a gloriously detailed panorama of a genius's trajectory through investigating and understanding the mysteries of nature. In pictures executed in fine pen and ink and lush watercolors – cameo portraits, illustrated pages of diary, cutaway views of the Beagle, as well as charts, maps, and a gatefold spread – Peter Sís has shaped a wondrous introduction to Charles Darwin. This title has Common Core connections.

The Tree of Life is a 2003 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year and Notable Children's Book of the Year, and a 2004 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Review:

Here is a fascinating, detailed look at the life of Charles Darwin: naturalist, geologist, and independent thinker. In his author's note, Caldecott Honor illustrator Peter Sis (Starry Messenger, Tibet: Through the Red Box) writes that Darwin always regretted not learning how to draw. However, he could and did take "dense and vivid" written notes, from which Sis drew his inspiration. Readers will spend hours poring over the gorgeous, intricately crafted pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations depicting layer upon layer of Darwin’s life as he developed his theories about the origins of life and natural selection. Tidbits from Darwin’s extensive and legendary voyage on the Beagle, notes on Galapagos tortoises, bloodsucking benchuca bugs, and Toxodon skeletons, and particulars from his family life intermingle with each other--just as in real life. Crammed with a veritable muddle of diary entries, cameo portraits, diagrams, natural illustrations, maps, timelines, a gatefold spread, and narrative divided into "Public Life," "Private Life," and "Secret Life" blocks of text, The Tree of Life will certainly be overwhelming to some readers; for other, less linear thinkers, it will be sheer, chaotic delight. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter

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