Synopsis from HarperCollins:
Join TV biological anthropologist Professor Alice Roberts on a fascinating non-fiction journey to discover the secrets of our past, in this dramatic retelling of our human journey for children aged 7+ years. Adults who love Who Do You Think You Are? will enjoy reading and sharing this book with young ones.
Reach back through time and shake hands with your ancestors. Discover who we are, where we come from and even what it means to be human as you follow the amazing human journey.
This spectacular illustrated book begins with the dawn of humankind on the grasslands of Africa around two and a half million years ago and unfolds to follow our ancestors over time and all around the world: from Africa to Asia, Europe, Australia and the Americas.
Travel with them as they face perils posed by deserts, oceans, changing climates, giant beasts, volcanoes and more, as they adapted, invented, survived and thrived.
About: Human Journey is a picture book nonfiction written by Professor Alice Roberts and illustrated by James Weston Lewis. It was recently published on 9/21/2021 by Red Shed, an imprint of HarperCollins, paperback, 48 pages. The genres are children’s book, nonfiction, and anthropology. This book was intended for readers ages 7 to 10. According to the publisher’s website, “Harper 360 is our global publishing initiative, publishing books in English from HarperCollins UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and India offices and books in Spanish from HarperCollins Iberica and Mexico offices. We publish in all genres of adult, children’s and YA books, and in all formats—print, e-book, and digital audio.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading Human Journey for my toddler’s nap time on 10/21/2021 and finished it on 10/31/2021. I loved reading this book! I started reading again for myself recently. It’s cool to know that Africa was the location where early humans lived. Definitely interesting to know how early humans were like by studying fossil bones, stone tools, and DNA. Anthropology actually fascinated me so this book is one I see myself reading over and over again. This book is good for young readers to read because there are examples and explanations when readers are introduced a new term. It’s awesome how those cave paintings last for so long, giving the future a glimpse into the past. It sounded cool to be the early humans because they just live off the land, either hunters or gatherers. Simple life. They travelled away to a new place when they feel like it and repeated the same process. This book provided a good glimpse into the human past, easy enough for young readers to read, understand, and hopefully become fascinated.
This book started with where the journey began. The African apes evolved into early humans around 2.5 million years ago. They were characterized as Homo habilis whereas today’s humans are labeled as Homo sapiens. The following page indicated 1.5 million years ago humans (Homo erectus) roam the African grasslands living among wild animals. Eight years old boys from back then is equivalent to fifteen years old boys today. Then three hundred thousand years ago through one hundred and sixty thousand years ago, the human’s body changed shapes becoming Homo sapiens. They used caves for shelters and collected shellfish, hunted small antelopes, mole rats, tortoises, and dig up plant roots for foods. Then one hundred and twenty thousand years ago, people began to travel to as far as western Asia. Later humans would spread to Australia, Europe, America, and more. Readers were informed that by seventy five thousand years ago there were humans living in India. Life was good with plenty of foods until they experienced the biggest volcano eruption. Readers will read about Stone Age and Neanderthals as well as The Ice Age. There will be other catastrophes as humans evolved but soon they figured out how to grow their own foods. At the end of the book, there will be a timeline to narrow down the story as well as a map of the world to retrace the journeys our ancestors have made. There will be a glossary provided at the end of the book including a table of contents at the beginning of the book.
Human Journey was well written and organized. I loved the illustrations! Loved the details and the beautiful landscapes. It’s awesome to have visual images of early humans and how their body shapes slowly changes over time. I was actually surprised when I read about the Ice Age periods and mammoths in this book. I kept thinking that the animation movie Ice Age was actually based on real history. I must have been busy daydreaming during history class in middle school! This story truly teaches kids a lot about how people live at a certain point in time. I loved seeing animals in this story and their big roles in keeping humans sane and healthy. People painted animals in caves and hunted them for foods. Later they took care of the animals so that it can help them with farming. Eventually people figured out that they can utilize horses for riding too. An excellent book and I highly recommend everyone to read it!
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author and Illustrator:
Professor Alice Roberts is an anatomist, anthropologist, Professor of Public Engagement in Science and television presenter. She has presented landmark BBC TV series, including The Incredible Human Journey and Digging for Britain. She has written many popular science books and brought her talent for communicating science to a young audience in the 2018 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. (Photo obtained from Wikipedia and info obtained from HarperCollins’ website, book pictures obtained from Edelweiss).
James Weston Lewis is an illustrator and print maker. He was longlisted for the 2017 CILIP Kate Greenaway medal for The Great Fire of London and has also brought his powerful, vivid, contemporary style to The Legend of Tutankhamun and Secrets of the Skies. (Photo obtained from the illustrator’s Instagram page and info obtained from HarperCollins’ website).
More Information about HarperCollins 360
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to HarperCollins 360 for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.