Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Book Review: Eukarya (making taxonomy fun for big kids and little kids) (biology)

Eukarya: A Child’s Guide to Knowing Names of Nature, by Cole Williams (Burning Belly Press, 2015, 41 pages, $15.99)

Eureka! No, Eukarya!

Delightfully drawn, the plants and animals (and myriad other living things) of Eukarya illustrate their names and make learning so easy, logical and, yes, even fun with rhymes, from the exceptionally clever Table of Contents to the asterisked organisms with “fictitious names of creatures* created by children.”

Starting at the beginning with an excellent overview of taxonomy then traipsing through the Protists, Fungi, Plants and Animals, Cole Williams uses phrases and terms like ‘different bubbles housing different jobs’ to designate membrane-bound organelles, and ‘roommates’ to describe dinoflagellates living peacefully with corals.

“Amoebas have no true feet,
But are very famous blobs.
Paramecia are predators
Eating little gobs.”

Looks Like a Coloring Book but for Kids or Adults?

With pages between chapters left mostly blank, Eukarya simply begs for the reader to draw his/her own creatures, real or imagined, and to name them. Williams has even included an alphabet of plant names and adjectives.

So much is included in this unassuming little tome that it appeals to curious kids and to college students who need a short explanation of taxonomy with oodles of examples.


I might add a pronunciation guide to help non-biologist parents but I am still considering using this in the college biology classes that I teach.

Eukarya is bound to be your child’s new favorite word!

* like "horkey" and "froggert"

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