Review: On the Origin of Species retold and illustrated by Sabina Radeva

origin of species

This simplified explanation of Charles Darwin’s ground-breaking book, retold and illustrated by Sabina Radeva is one of the most sumptuous non-fiction books that I have had the pleasure to read, and I sincerely wish that it had been available in my, or my own children’s childhoods.

The first thing that struck me was the beautiful blue/green palette of the illustrations, which to me amplifies the beauty of life on our planet. Inside the covers there are detailed pictures of insects which the reader is challenged to find within the pages of the book.

The text is simple and straightforward, accessible to every reader, as it describes the way that living organisms have evolved on earth and explains Charles Darwin’s revolutionary theory of adaptation and evolution. The balance between text and illustration has been designed so perfectly that this book absolutely grabs your attention.

The work of other scientists such as Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Alfred Wallace is acknowledged, giving readers the message that scientific progress is often the work of more than one famous name. As you progress through the book, you fully appreciate the many years of detailed observations of multitudes of species that Darwin made in order to formulate his theories; the power of curiosity and wonder shines through the pages. Direct quotes from Darwin’s original text are illustrated with immense care and beauty by Sabina Radeva, whilst terminology like variation, natural selection and migration are explained with absolute clarity. I liked the way that difficulties in the theory and more recent updates are also discussed.

In summary, I think that this incredible book should be an essential addition to every school library to help all children understand how scientific discovery and scientific theories progress. Its extraordinary design can only help to enthuse readers about the natural world and scientific curiosity and development of understanding. I know that I will be gifting copies to my young relatives to marvel at. Oh, and don’t forget to identify the bugs and butterflies featured on each page!


This is #Book10 in my #20BooksofSummer challenge, hosted by Cathy at 746Books.

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