I actually completed this book back in December but neglected to make a post about it…mostly because I dread taking pictures of my work. I’ve got two digital cameras and neither of them work. Also, every picture I take requires extensive photoshopping to clean up. Anywoo: the Devonian! It’s the third book in my prehistoric book series, which means that I’ve only got two more books to do to complete the Paleozoic. Wooo! Paleozoic in the house!
The Devonian is an important era because it’s when terrestrial environments and terrestrial animals appeared. It’s the era when “fish crawled onto land” as it were. For my book, it meant splitting the book in two. Let me explain: since my books are accordion books, showing one continuous image, I can’t show what’s happening simultaneously on land and in the water. So the book starts in the early Devonian in the water, and progresses through late Devonian in the water. Then, when the picture transitions to land, it shows the terrestrial environment in the early Devonian. So basically, it means that there’s a point in the book where you have aquatic animals that existed in the late Devonian sharing the picture with plants that existed in the early Devonian. I really do try to be scientifically accurate with my books, but sometimes I have to take artistic license.
Like all my other prehistoric books, there’s text in the back so you can learn about the period. Someone asked me where I get all my facts. It’s easy: I make it up :)…Seriously though, I have two books to start my research : Prehistoric Life and Evolution. I also check out Wikipedia and do a google search, and borrow various books from the library. There’s one reference that I particularly like : it’s a DVD set of lectures entitled Major Transitions in Evolution. I make a lot of notes and then try to distill them so a lay person can understand. The previous two prehistoric books, I wrote with children in mind, but I was second guessing myself over what words were appropriate for children. For instance, do children know what carbon dioxide is? and is “therefore” a complicated word? So this book, I thought “Screw the kids. I’m writing for adults. If kids have trouble understanding, their parents will translate for them” (Seriously, I don’t have the room to explain what carbon dioxide is). So I feel the text in this book is a bit of an improvement…wait till I meet a copywriter and they’ll start picking out all my grammatical errors 🙁
Next up: the Carboniferous! The era which gave us coal. Just think about it: it took millions and millions of years to create the coal it’s taken us just 200-some years to burn up. What a tragic waste. Well enough environmental talk from me.