Back in 2009, I was given an odd book. It was the Universe Verse: Book One. In it, the author illustrates the formation of the universe, from the Big Bang, to the formation of stars and galaxies in rich detail and painstaking attention to the tiniest of scientific facts. And to top it off, it’s all done in rhyme as if Carl Sagan met Dr. Seuss. But as the title indicates, it was just the first of the series. In total, the author, James Lu Dunbar, is planning three books and at long last, the second in the Universe Verse trilogy is ready for release. And we’ve got a sneak peek!
The previous book (available to preview on the author’s website) ended with the formation of heavy atoms in the cores of stars and supernovae. “It’s Alive!” begins with the formation of planets from these elements. It explains the formation of primordial oceans and the atmosphere and introduces abiogenesis. It takes the reader through the fundamentals of random mutations leading to natural selection, formation of amino acids, and biodiversity.
This chapter in the saga leaves off with life still quite simple, still at the bacterial level, but with hints at what it will become (the province of the next book). As with the previous book, this one is lavishly illustrated, but unlike its predecessor, it’s in color. This was all thanks to a series of pledges James received to continue his project, netting him six times more than the amount requested!
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Like the last book, this one can be previewed free online, but to go even further, James is releasing the book as a free eBook. All you have to do is send him an Email (address on his website) for a high resolution .pdf copy! He encourages anyone interested to request it since “Everyone, especially children, should have the opportunity to read this story.” For even more behind the scenes with this book, James chronicled the making of the book, complete with rough draft pages on his blog.
For those interested in purchasing the book, it will available for purchase in paperback on April 3rd of this year. Preorders are available here.