Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World Hardcover – May 16, 2011
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Evolution, the study of the degree of relatedness of living and extinct life forms, is utterly absent in the "Evolution: the human story".
Mikhail Umorin, Ph.D.
DK Publishers are known for strongly illustrated reference books with abbreviated information in a very accessible graphic style and are adept at editing for clear simple language. It’s written for the lay public in clear in an entertaining way that holds your attention.
RATING: For quality/value it’s a 5+. On content I have to give it a multiple rating depending on the reader’s level. - For the novice - a 5. For the very advanced - a 3 (its illustrations and graphics may make a good supplement to other material.) For those between it’s worth its price because of its quality alone. -- I averaged it as 4. (But, even an advanced reader should consider getting the book.)
READERS: It's a popular press book and accessible for all but the very young - (some reviewers said they even used the pictures to guide this age group at home.) - a good book for beginners and novices - and to introduce someone and possibly get them interested in learning more.
For the bit more advanced, there is a lot of very condensed information here. It's entertaining and has “coffee-table” value and provides opportunities to share with others and makes a good gift.
For even more advanced readers; one said it was used as a supplement for their Introductory Anthropology class. Another said it should be an “addition” only. This is not a not a book that lays out the information in a methodological written text and advances your understanding beyond the introductory level. But I believe the advance reader can get what you are willing to extract from it. This takes a little work, to compare between segments/sections - and do further research on the internet. I found things in the book I have overlooked, or not given enough emphasis - and it provided a different perspective that made the book worthwhile to me. Several of the vignettes stimulated fruitful speculations and new insights that I have not otherwise have followed. .
AUTHORS: The nominal author, Dr Alice Roberts wrote one of the five book's chapters - on migrations - She also likely acted as book's chief editor for the rest of the book. In the UK - where the book was first released, she is well known as a TV presenter on some BBC science documentaries on archaeological subjects -a likely reason the publisher put her name on the book's spine. Her current role at University of Birmingham's is to explain science information to the public. The other four chapters were written by a team of academics (authors / researchers - consultants) - mostly from UK universities and museum staffs,
If you are a novice, don't let the academic credentials scare you off. It was written for the lay public. But the academic credentials do assure a high level of accuracy in facts and reporting of recent understandings and general consensus in the field.
CHAPTERS: The first chapter provides a necessarily simplified summary of geology, paleontology and anthropology needed for the rest of the book. The second chapter provides a brief overview of primates in general and has an excellent 2 page photo-chart of existing great apes and human skeletons - a useful reference for this and other books.
The 3rd chapter is a catalogue of Hominins (human's ancestors since their split from chimps) with generalizations of important aspects. 23 species have sections ranging from a half to 6 pages including photos - depending on how many fossils have been found,. Each has history of discovery (location, age, fossils parts found), species name’s meanings, and physical features. For species with more fossil material, information is briefly given about archaeology, diet, habitat and behavior that can be inferred. Readers will profit from the time to compare the species, especially the “Physical Features”. It’s not necessary - but you can extract information if you are willing to put in the effort. Five other "species" are only briefly mentioned 13 have reconstructions showing possible appearance.
Dr. Roberts chapter is about Homo migrations (dispersal) from Africa to the rest of the world. Brief but well written. However I suggest reading it in a different order - (read pages 180-185 first, then go back to pg 176-179 and then finish the chapter). Lay readers should be aware that this chapter, like the others, are generalizations. The general outline is likely accurate but particular aspects are likely to expand and change quite a bit in the next decade or so.
Last chapter is really about archaeology - the cultures and artifacts of later Human development / history. The most useful information here is about the transition from Hunter-gathers to the development of agriculture - which is scattered over several pages.
Within these chapters are some notable textual parts - well written summarization on: Fossilization, Primates, Out of Africa -(Migrations), Hunters (foragers) to Agriculture.
COFFEE TABLE BOOK. Other reviewers called this a coffee-table book and I agree. For what I paid for the book, it was well worth it, if you only want it as a coffee table book.
DEFICIENCIES: the title: EVOLUTION: A HUMAN STORY is completely inaccurate.
Biggest inaccuracy is using "EVOLUTION" in the title. The small coverage of evolution does not justify its use in the title, and what’s written in the text is not well done - abbreviated and over-simplified to the point of being misleading. The short paragraphs about DNA, genes and Claddistics are just as deficient (especially since these all are areas are major fields of the future.)
It is not necessary to go into detail about evolution in an introductory text but using it in the title is misleading. Rather than be a feature of the book feature - as the title implies, it’s a big deficiency. If the reader is really looking for a book about evolution, as it applies to human ancestors, this is not it.
The book is broader than "Humans". It covers a vast range of subjects of Hominid’s /Human history. Very briefly covering some stem and lower primates and ending with the first organized human states. This is a huge time/subject range. It provides a good overview of Hominin historic development, as well as giving a brief introduction into Anthropology.
There are differences in the depth of information in chapters. Most are very brief and shallowly covered. What is presented is abbreviated main-stream interpretations (in some cases over-simplified), with little detail. A few contested positions are mentioned but not really examined. (Anthropology is a highly contested field - by the anthologists - and one would not get that sense from this book.) But its broad scope, brevity and simplification provide a good overview of the field. Its simplified level is appropriate for an introductory book for the lay public.
Despite its title -there is no "Story" in this book; it lacks a coherent running narrative. The book fractures information into segments both between and within the chapters. It's not a book you read cover to cover. It’s not even a collection of “stories” about the different species or aspects. But it's great for picking up quick pieces of information and "browsing". I found it ideal for reading at night in spurts (did not have to re-read earlier segments to pick up the flow).
I would characterize it as a picture book, where photos and graphics convey a lot of information and not a lot is in the text. Each chapter is composed of self-contained vignettes - pictures + graphics and descriptions about them. (Similiar to the box inserts used in National Geographic - this book is like a collection of these inserts.) They are generally arranged chronologically within each chapter. Links between the vignettes are often implied by their adjacency rather than stated.
Okay - so I dissed the title, what could it have been to be more accurate: PICTURE BOOK OF HOMINID’S DEVELOPMENT AND HUMAN’S EARLY HISTORY. Admittedly not a block-buster title… -to the reader - just realize what the book is really about.
RECONSTRUCTIONS: The species reconstructions are both positive and negative. Done by Dutch artists - the Kennis brothers - very talented artists who used modern human forensic methods to flesh-out fossil replicas skulls and provide their interpretations of the species appearance. These reconstructions are among the best "artisitc" work I've seen. Their technical and artistic skills are truly impressive - the results look very life like, right down to the skin texture and blemishes, features and facial expressions.
However, they're work involves artistic interpretations. They also relied on modern forensic human data. Nobody knows what these species really looked like. The bone structure and general muscular is available from the fossils but traits that have a large impact on appearance are in the fleshy parts like lips, ears, and in things like eyes and hair distribution - which are not preserved or indicated. The Kennis tend to push these strongly in the direction of modern humans features.
Some of these features can be inferred (guessed) based on the species circumstances. ( e.g. the skin colors they show for most species are likely – based on fossil locality.) But overall - IMHO - the reconstructions are on the modern human-like end of possible representations. Their use of human-like facial expressions in the early species further over- humanizes them. They may be right - but you should realize that representations been done by others are more ape-like for many species, especially the early ones. Having said that - the reconstructions are technically well done and useful to show the possible range of appearance that can come out of artistic interpretation.
Bottom line – same as the first one; most readers should consider buying this book because of its quality and extent of what is provided.