Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species


This beautiful book explains Charles Darwin’s famous work, ‘On the Origin of Species’ in a clear, child-friendly manner. Setting the scene with ‘a few clever and curious scientists…who challenged’ the idea that everything in the world had always been the same, the book then focuses on Darwin and his work.


Each of Darwin’s ideas is illustrated and explained, with quotes from Darwin throughout. Each point is broken down into clear, easily managed sections, enabling the reader to comprehend some quite challenging ideas. Darwin’s voice can be heard as quotes from his work are included, injecting the book with a sense of his enthusiasm, wonder and excitement. The main points of his thinking are summarised in a conclusion at the end with a final note reminding us that the process of evolution continues.


An excellent appendix offers yet more information on this fascinating subject, up-dating some ideas in light of current research. The section on misconceptions is particularly valuable and a clear glossary explains some of the main terms. There are even some suggestions for further reading.

Y6 Science Programme of Study Evolution and inheritance stares that children should be taught to:

  • recognise that living things have changed over time and that fossils provide information about living things that inhabited the Earth millions of years ago

  • recognise that living things produce offspring of the same kind, but normally offspring vary and are not identical to their parents

  • identify how animals and plants are adapted to suit their environment in different ways and that adaptation may lead to evolution

This lovely book supports a class teacher in fulfilling these aims and makes an excellent addition to the library, allowing children to further explore and investigate Darwin’s ideas, challenging them to observe and notice the world around them. Combining scientific ideas with beautiful artwork, ‘Darwin's On the Origin of Species’ is a real must have!

Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species Retold and illustrated by Sabina Radeva

Penguin ISBN: 978-0141388502