Born With a Bang

(http://www NULL.universestories (http://www NULL.universestories

(http://www NULL.universestories

A Series by author Jennifer Morgan (http://http://www NULL.universestories illustrator Dana Lynne Andersen (http://http://www NULL.sacredcatalog

Three of the best children’s books I’ve found on evolution are a series by Jennifer Morgan and Dana Lynne Andersen (illustrator): Born with a Bang (http://www, From Lava to Life (http://www, and Mammals Who Morph (http://www tells the story of the universe from the universe’s point of view, using metaphors a child can identify with:  “About 13 billion years ago, or so, I was smaller than a piece of dust under your bed.”   That piece of dust bursts into a “gargantuan balloon the size of a galaxy” and describes its future in terms of dreams:  “fish cruising deep blue seas, insects alighting on flowers, reptiles basking on hot rocks in the Sun. . . .”   I like the use of dreams as metaphor for change and possibility.   Morgan emphasizes that the universe is “us.” We are all one, created from that single first piece of dust.  The second book, From Lava to Life, focuses on the growth of life on earth, beginning with bacteria and ending with the dinosaurs. And in Mammals Who Morph, we see the evolution of animals into humans, again with the universe telling the story.  On the last page we are reminded of our history:

            “Every cell in your body is packed with hydrogen, made when I was born.

            Your bones are hardened with calcium made by stars.

            Your backbone was fashioned by fish.”

Morgan, who has a degree in theology from the University of San Francisco, also studied science at Princeton and interviewed many physicists while writing this series.  She told the stories to her son, who wanted to know all about the universe, she said, including the texture of its edges. 

I recommend this series to children, parents, and teachers.    

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2 Responses to “Born With a Bang”

  1. Jane Ann says:

    What an interesting blog. I grew up in Cincinnati and when I was little, a friend and I used to go on top of the hill behind my house and sit on this humungus rock. I remember seeing these incredible seashells imprinted in the rock. All your research to the local museums, pictures of the Ohio River and your discoveries of such things has me wanting to go back and retrace the steps you made — to Loiusville and Cincinnati. I look forward to reading Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth because these questions that Mary Mae poses, I also had at one time. When adulthood comes, these curiosities often slip away, and it sometimes takes a child — even a character in a book – to pique that curiosity again. Thank you……

  2. SandraDutton (http://MaryMaeandtheGospelTruth says:

    Thanks, Jane. It is exciting. And if you take I-71 down to Louisville, be sure to look at the road cuts. You can really see the strata. And like you I had memories of the shells in the rocks and wondered if it had been my imagination. But the rocks are thick with fossils.

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