Charlie and Kiwi: An Evolutionary Adventure

(2011) for ages 5 – 8 (secular). This story uses time travel alongside great science to investigate how the unusual kiwi bird came to have the characteristics it does (for example it is wing-less, doesn’t fly, and has whiskers.) We see how ancestors of kiwis may have had advantages when they didn’t fly because they were away from flying predators. Early kiwis that had whiskers could also get around easier at night because their whiskers would help them feel their way through the terrain. Each new generation that exhibited these beneficial characteristics would have advantages when it came to surviving, and would pass these on to the next generation and the next. The concepts of evolution and natural selection come through wonderfully without ever having to use the actual terms, and the creative story-telling makes these important scientific concepts accessible to young people.

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