There is news today that Ladybird Books is publishing a new book co-authored by Prince Charles on climate changeLadybird Books is an iconic children’s books publisher – anyone learning to read in Britain in the early 60s knows [and loves] the brand from that and also the “Learn about” series of instructional books for [mainly] children
These books have an instantly recognisable appearance [layout, style of illustration, slim, hardback]; and recently the imprint has tried to recapture their old audience with fairly jokey titles for adults such as their guide to The Hangover & The Hipster [these & similar have also been published for the US market as “The Fireside Grown-Up Guide to…”, but I doubt that it will catch fire over there without the history!]
Anyway, I had a look around and discovered there’s one coming out on Evolution by Steve Jones.
Steve Jones is Emeritus Professor of Genetics at University College London and is one of the world’s top six experts of snail population genetics (the other five agree).
Here’s the book, coming out January 26; it has 56 pages, and so is a short read:
Part of the new Ladybird Expert series, Evolution is a clear, simple and entertaining introduction to Charles Darwin’s pioneering and revolutionary theory of how all life changes through natural selection.
Written by broadcaster, prize-winning author and geneticist Professor Steve Jones, it explores the extraordinary diversity of life on our planet through the complex interactions of one very simple theory.
You’ll discover the common origins of dogs and Brussels sprouts, how it is we’re all mutants, where wings, ears and tails came from, why sex is good for you, how some dinosaurs evolved and survived, and why human evolution may finally have stopped. [JAC: I disagree with that, and so do many others. There is plenty of evidence that human evolution has NOT stopped.]
Written by the leading lights and most outstanding communicators in their fields, the Ladybird Expert books provide clear, accessible and authoritative introductions to subjects drawn from science, history and culture.
For an adult readership, the Ladybird Expert series is produced in the same iconic small format pioneered by the original Ladybirds. Each beautifully illustrated book features the first new illustrations produced in the original Ladybird style for nearly forty years.
If you want a quick overview on evolution, this might be the book for you. For a more comprehensive take aimed at scientifically literate adults (no degree required), check out Oxford University Press’s Evolution: A Very Short Introduction by Brian and Deborah Charlesworth. That “VSI” series, which now includes over 400 titles on subjects as diverse as quantum mechanics, French cinema, and free will, is a great way to get up to speed on lots of things. There’s even a VSI on atheism, I believe by Julian Baggini.
And the BBC News describes Prince Charles’s book on climate change, which, I trust, is more scientifically sound than his views on homeopathy. Judging from the cover, it looks to be: