Synopses & Reviews
Settle in with your favorite pillow while the Universe tells the thrilling story of Earth. It's a story about the beginning of life, and how Earth triumphs over crisis to become bacteria ... jellyfish ... flowers ... dinosaurs! It's a science story that is your story too, the story of your living Earth and the unbroken chain that connects you to the very first life that began to twitch in the sea four billion years ago. "Once upon a time" meets science in a children's picture book that tells the thrilling story of how life began on Earth. The book is the brainchild of Jennifer Morgan of Princeton, New Jersey, who studied evolutionary science and saw its storytelling possibilities when she explained it to her elementary-age son. From Lava to Life: the Universe Tells Our Earth Story follows the unbroken chain that connects the child reader back in time, beyond dinosaurs, beyond jellyfish, to the first tiny things that twitched in the ocean. The book offers not only up-to-date science, it is also a thrilling success story. Time after time life is almost extinguished, but manages to survive and emerge stronger and more capable after each crisis. It is the second in a series of three picture books that tells the "life story" of the Universe. The first, Born with a Bang: the Universe Tells its Cosmic Story, was released in spring, 2002, and was awarded a "Teacher's Choice" selection. It is the story of the creation of stars, galaxies and elements, ending with the formation of Earth. From Lava to Life picks up the story with the first appearance of life on Earth in the form of bacteria. The story follows their amazingly creative experimentation with myriads of life forms and the eventualappearance of amphibians, insects, reptiles and plants. It ends with the extinction of the dinosaurs and the survival of early small mammals. A third book will cover the era of mammals to mankind. Author Jennifer Morgan is a storyteller and student of cosmology. Her storytelling evolved from bedtime stories for her son, who wanted to know more and more, even the texture of the edge of the Universe. She believes that our cosmology stories fundamentally shape us as a people--our relationships, work, play, culture, and institutions. Scenes of the developing life forms are lavishly illustrated by Dana Andersen of Santa Rosa, California, a noted artist and a student of cosmology, with degrees in philosphy and consciousness studies. Her paintings explore the swirling forces of energy that underlie matter. Both books are told in storyteller style with the Universe as narrator, told as if the Universe were leafing through the pages of its own photo album--a manner of telling that allows both children and adults to feel their intimate participation in the story. Morgan's books have won the applause of prominent scientists, educators and religious leaders, including cosmologists Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme, astronaut Edgar Mitchell, evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis, Nobel prize-winning physicist Leon Lederman, interfaith minister Michael Dowd and Episcopal priest Matthew Fox, Genesis Farm founder Sr. Miriam MacGillis, and many others. Cultural historian Thomas Berry, author of "Dream of the Earth, " stated that Morgan's text "has the precision of the latest scholarship, shaped in the language appropriate for the late childhood years. ... T he sooner the children hear these words, in thecontext you provide, the better off they will be." Although the target age range for this book is ages 8 through 12, the actual age range is far broader. Research and development of From Lava to Life was supported by a grant from The Infinity Foundation. Dawn Publications specializes in books for children that inspire a deeper understanding and appreciation for all life on Earth.
Settle in with your favorite pillow while the Universe tells the thrilling story of Earth. It's a story about the beginning of life, and how Earth triumphs over crisis to become bacteria, jellyfish, flowers . . . and dinosaurs. It's a science story of the living Earth and the unbroken chain that connects humans to the very first life that began to twitch four billion years ago. This is the second book in a series of Universe stories . . . as told by the Universe.
"One upon a time" meets science in a children's picture book that tells the thrilling story of how life began on Earth. The second in a trilogy of Universe stories as told by the Universe, "From Lava to Life" picks up with the formation of Earth and the first presence of life forms as Earth triumphs over crisis to create bacteria, jellyfish, flowers . . . even dinosaurs.