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The tree of life : a book depicting the life…

The tree of life : a book depicting the life of Charles Darwin,… (edition 2003)

by Peter Sís

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Title:The tree of life : a book depicting the life of Charles Darwin, naturalist, geologist & thinker
Authors:Peter Sís
Info:New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2003.
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:children's nonfiction, picture book, science, memoir

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The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin by Peter Sis



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Why do I persist?  I brought this home, but am returning it unread.  Immediately upon opening it I felt seasick, headachy - I cannot enjoy creations by Peter Sis.  Too busy, too intricate, not enough color or contrast, font too small.  Maybe it's a fantastic book for the right audience, but not for me.
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 5, 2016 |
The sheer scope and detail within this book is amazing to behold. The stories within the story that are compiled of multiple small pages with intricate drawings and excerpts from Darwin's writing could be books unto themselves. Each picture and series of pictures could be studied in detail extensively over periods of time. The multi genre approach, classic of Sis's, lends great depth to the story of Darwin: letters, diary entries, notes on drawings, descriptions of theories are presented in different formats and structures that keep the reader engaged in the text.

Curricular connections: The story of Darwin's life and learnings could lead in to a study of the history of natural science or of the theories of evolution and natural selection. The book also would serve as a fine mentor text to teaching multi genre writing techniques: Even with just two pages from the book, teachers and students could model a variety of writing strategies to tell a story or report a phenomenon. ( )
  SueStolp | Feb 11, 2016 |
I really like the way Peter Sís does biographies. Lovely illustrations (although I liked the ones in Starry Messenger even better). They include quotes from the subject of the biography, and I think they're done very well so that it feels like you're hearing him speak. I'm hoping Sís has more that I can go look up. ( )
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
The tree of life chronicles the life and work of Charles Darwin.

I have read others of Peter Sis, and this measures up to the rest of them. It was wonderfully objective and illustrated with Sis's totally original drawings. This would be a great book to add to children's libraries for variety in perspective.

Since this book gave a lot of information about Darwin's work as a naturalist, aside from his theories about human natural selection, this would be a fantastic book to supplement older children's studies in biology possibly while making a catalog of tree leaves or bugs. I also think this book would be a good tool for students creating a time line of historical events in the 1800s.
  CallieHennessee | Jul 22, 2015 |
Illustrations: Pen and watercolor painting
Age Group: 3rd Grade and up
My impressions:
Lesson Plan: ( )
  a.coote | Jun 5, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0374456283, Hardcover)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:48 -0400)

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Presents the life of the famous nineteenth-century naturalist using text from Darwin's writings and detailed drawings by Sis.

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