In this brilliant presentation of a revolutionary thinker’s life, the picture book becomes an art form
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. This title has Common Core connections.
The Tree of Life is a 2003 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year and Notable Children’s Book of the Year, and a 2004 Bank Street - Best Children’s Book of the Year.
Peter Sís is a Hans Christian Anderson Award winner, a three-time Caldecott Honoree, a Sibert Award winner, and a MacArthur Fellow. He is the illustrator of Pam Muñoz Ryan’s The Dreamer, a Pura Belpré Award winner, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book, and an ALA Notable. Sís’s many celebrated picture books, including Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei, Tibet Through the Red Box, and The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain, are treasured by readers all over the world. His most recent picture book, Ice Cream Summer, was hailed by Kirkus Reviews in a starred review as “an encomium to summer, to the power of learning, and to that beloved, creamy-cold treat.” When Peter isn’t traveling the globe eating ice cream, he creates picture books and fine art that can be seen in galleries, museums, and public spaces from New York to Los Angeles, London to Prague, and lots of cities in between. Visit Peter online and learn more about his award-winning books at www.petersis.com.
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