How the Borks Became

Publisher: Otter-Barry Books

Review

Evolution can be a difficult concept to explain to children, but this amusing picture book presents it beautifully. The fictional Bork species, inhabitants of Planet Charleebob, are fluffy yellow animals with six legs and long necks, but they haven’t always looked like this. Originally, they were squat creatures with short blue fur.

When some Borklings were born with shaggy fur, they survived a particularly cold winter, while the others died. So, the following breeding season, all Borks were born with shaggy fur. Most were still blue, but a few had bright yellow coats, which camouflaged them against the yellow mossy landscape, helping them evade capture by the Ravenous Snarfle. Therefore, the next brood of baby Borks were born with bright yellow shaggy fur, and so it continued. The species evolved and those who didn’t adapt to the changing environment died out.

Reminiscent of Dr Seuss books, this fantastically funny tale combines humour, rhyming text and wonderfully vibrant illustrations to present evolution and natural selection in an accessible way. The endpapers document the plants and animals found on Planet Charleebob and there is even some factual information about evolution on Earth and the scientist Charles Darwin squeezed in at the end.

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