A Children’s Book About Evolution (Without Any of the Scary Science Words)

Here’s a nifty little children’s book about evolution. It’s called Pepper’s Special Wings (Humanist Press, 2012) and it’s about a peppered moth and its evolutionary awesomeness (among other things):

The book is written by Mary Anne Farah with beautiful illustrations by Megan Stiver.

“Children have the right to know the truth about how life evolves and species change,” says Farah. “The well-documented story of how the Peppered Moth species eventually changed due to pollution darkening the plants where they congregated was perfect for a children’s book. The new survival advantage for moths with darker wings is an easy example to explain to children with no need to use words that may not have yet been learned, such as species, population, predation and camouflage.”

Good thing Christmas is coming soon…

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • ImRike

    Christmas? Come on, Hemant, you must mean “the Holidays”!

    • observer

      Agreed, how are Christian Extremists suppose to prove there’s a war regarding “Christmas” and feel prosecuted if people keep using the damn word nonchalantly?

  • Gus Snarp

    This is great. It’s hard to find good, age appropriate science books for very small children. This is going to be a bed time story in my house very soon.

    • Mary anne Farah

      Gus, I am so happy that you like to book. I hope it becomes a classic at home and in classrooms too. Thanks for your comment Gus!

  • Guest

    It seems that the latest is we have found ancient civilizations from 12000 years back probably destroyed by the last minor ice age. When I first read about visitors from the stars as a school kid, my question was how the author knew that man was not more advanced in the past. That was way before I heard about the devolution theory.
    I love science but the natural skeptic in me don’t have a whole lot of faith in establishments of any kind. There is no penalty for putting out wrong theories. Data that don’t fit in just get thrown out. It shouldn’t matter one way or the other since a lifetime is merely 100 years ie if the next ice age does not make a sudden onset. I have been waiting for that since I read articles that the current cycle seemed delayed as a kid decades ago. Maybe the survivors will be the next stone age people and they will gradually advance to piece together information about us like like we did of the past civilizations. Hopefully we have time to peel another layer of the ice ‘onion’ back to reveal yet older civilizations. I would like to feel vindicated to even dare think devolution.

    • Georgina

      “wrong theories”
      Thesis are used to describe facts. You might have a theory about how best to manage your money, the money is real even when your theory doesn’t work.

      Scientists observe something, then try to hypothesise and then form a theory.
      True, they are sometimes wrong. But more often new facts come to light and a new theory must be formed.

      If you suddenly got a huge raise, would that mean your theory about how best to manage your money was “wrong”?

    • nakedanthropologist

      Um, no.  Data that “does not fit” does not get thrown out.  That’s what libraries – both online and analog – are for.  If a person can repeatedly show that something happens (whether through physics, mathematics, biology and so on) then other scientists and interested people can read and critique said work.  That’s the process; you’re entire stated premise is wrong.

    • Gus Snarp

      What on earth are you talking about? Is this about advanced civilizations that predate all of written history? Are you aware that we have considerable evidence of human existence on this planet dating back much farther than 12,000 years, and absolutely zero evidence of any kind of technologically advanced civilization, human or alien, ever? Do you have any idea how much evidence our civilization would leave behind if it were wiped out tomorrow? There is no cataclysm that has struck the earth since the moon was created that would conceal the mountain of evidence a technologically advanced civilization would have left behind from another technologically advanced civilization. Technological civilizations do not appear ex nihilo, they are built on the backs of earlier civilizations. If such a civilization had ever existed, we would have found a mountain of evidence of it for ever dinosaur fossil excavated. 

  • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

    And then the friendly, anthropomorphized Pepper was eaten by a lizard before she could reproduce.

  • observer

    “…is an easy example to explain to children with no need to use words
    that
    may not have yet been learned, such as species, population,
    predation and camouflage.”

    More words to be deemed “immoral” and “anti-Christian”.

  • Frothslosh

    Is this available in something other than Kindle? 

    • allein

      I was going to ask the same thing. The nook book is the only thing that comes up on B&N. If there’s a paper copy I would order it for their holiday book donation in the stores. Last year there was a post here about some other kid-appropriate books on evolution. I ordered 3 of them (the one in the post and some others suggested in the comments). When they came in, I picked them up, sat in the cafe with some hot chocolate to read through them, then paid and put them in the donation. I usually do some sort of theme and I might have to do science books again. (If anyone has any ideas that’d be great!)


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