Author/Artist: Daniel Loxton
Type: Non-fiction, single subject
Full title: Evolution: How We and All Living Things Came to Be
I read it: June 2013
From the back pages of Skeptic magazine comes Junior Skeptic, a noteworthy ongoing installment by writer and illustrator Daniel Loxton. This book combined two parts of an evolution piece for Junior Skeptic, bringing them together in a sleek and easily digestible hardcover. Loxton fleshes out the pages with excellent drawings and diagrams, as well as plenty of multi-cultural faces asking questions about evolution. These he answers using no more than one or two pages each, providing plenty of succint ah-ha! explanations for those unfamiliar with some of the common evolutionary stories. He uses the moths in Industrial Revolution-era England for “Can we ever see evolution happening?”; focuses on Archaeopteryx for “If evolution really happens, where are the transitional fossils?”; and in the section for “Common solutions for common problems” uses wings and torpedo-like swimming bodies to nicely sum up convergent evolution.
Some of the potentially divisive areas of confronting evolution are placed nicely toward the end of each of the two sections. The penultimate entry of Part 1 is “What about us?” which explains that yes, we too have and are evolving. In parallel, just before the end of Part 2 is the “What about religion?” question, which Loxton keeps short by sending the reader to talk with others in his or her community. These graceful and straightforward techniques should give a youngster a foot onto the path where they can eventually contemplate the huge meaning that the story of evolution has for us as human beings. But the book is not just for youngsters–it is a perfect introduction to the subject for absolutely anyone, with clear and memorable explanations to some of the most intriguing science out there.