Peter Sis - The Tree of Life: Charles Darwin

I could never get my son interested in this book, but I think it is wonderful. I thought he would like it given that he likes Dragonology and similar books that come in this new style. Rather than be a straight biography, which is likely to bore most kids, Sis has woven the text into amazing and detailed illustrations. Nearly every page is in a different format, providing new things to notice on every read. The style is sort of like a modern, kid's encyclopedia. Some pages pull out. Some pages tell you what Darwin was doing at a given point in time in public, followed by what he was doing in private (personal/family life), and finishing with the really good stuff--what he was doing in secret. There are maps, time lines, copies of what is in Darwin's journals, and loads of other fascinating things. The quality of this work is really outstanding.

If you are an adult who finds Darwin fascinating after being introduced to him through this book, I highly recommend moving on to this one for more details.

from the publisher:

As far as I can judge, I am not apt to follow blindly the lead of other men . . .
Charles Darwin was, above all else, an independent thinker who continues even now to influence the way we look at the natural world. His endless curiosity and passion for detail resulted in a wealth of notebooks, diaries, correspondence, and published writings that Peter Sís transforms into a visual treasure trove. A multilayered journey through Darwin's world, The Tree of Life begins with his childhood and traces the arc of his life through university and career, following him around the globe on the voyage of the Beagle, and home to a quiet but momentous life devoted to science and family. Sís uses his own singular vision to create a gloriously detailed panorama of a genius’s trajectory through investigating and understanding the mysteries of nature. In pictures executed in fine pen and ink and lush watercolors -– cameo portraits, illustrated pages of diary, cutaway views of the Beagle, as well as charts, maps, and a gatefold spread -– Peter Sís has shaped a wondrous introduction to Charles Darwin.