Book Review: When Plants Took Over the Planet. The Amazing Story of Plant Evolution

Title: When Plants Took Over the Planet. The Amazing Story of Plant Evolution.

Written by: Dr Chris Thorogood

Illustrated by: Amy Grimes

Published by: QED Publishing

When Plants Took Over the Planet. The Amazing Story of Plant Evolution
by Dr Chris Thorogood and
Amy Grimes

When Plants Took Over the Planet. The Amazing Story of Plant Evolution documents a concise history of plants from the first water plants that have been estimated to have appeared around 500 million years ago and through their amazing journey onto land. There is also an excellent timeline of their evolution from the Palaeozoic era to the Cenozoic era.

Dr Chris Thorogood has put his reputation as a botanic field guide writer to good use to create a visually dynamic non-fiction picture book for young people that can be used as a means for identifying different plants and guide young readers through the key aspects of the life of plants, from early ferns which were most certainly munched on by dinosaurs, to carnivorous plants that snap and ‘attack’ their prey, or powerful medicinal plants that can heal ailments and boost health. It even includes how to pronounce the difficult looking Latin words.

The snippets of bite-sized narrative weaves its way through how the multitude of magnificent and mysterious variations evolved into the vast array of adaptations that populate our planet today. It provides examples of how they can be used in medicines, the animals, including humans that need them to survive and also touches on the damage humans are doing to this fascinating resource.

Amy Grimes’ illustrations are bright and bold vinaigrettes inspired by the colours of nature and the natural world. Any child will want to spend hours just pouring over the illustrations to determine the plants similarities and differences.

This large-format, highly illustrated non-fiction picture book could be used to support topics taught at the top end of primary school in particular, living things and their habitats and evolution and inheritance. It will inspire budding young gardeners and botanists to discover more about the world of plants and maybe even go on to grow some truly bizarre and extraordinary plants for themselves.

This book was originally reviewed for Armadillo Magazine.

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