JAN PAUL SCHUTTEN & FLOOR RIEDER | HARDCOVER | 160 PAGES | NON-FICTION | AGES 10 AND UP

DUTCH TITLE: HET RAADSEL VAN ALLES WAT LEEFT

 

raadsel

 

In this splendid book, successful Dutch author Jan Paul Schutten shares what he’s discovered about life’s mysteries and evolution. The structure is a little like a lively, everyday conversation. Stimulating and amusing questions such as “Why did life begin in the sea?”, “Are we all descended from a slime­ball?”, “Why is dying sometimes a good idea?” are followed by concise and vividly illustrated answers, without dumbing down this complex subject matter.

 

As billions of years pass by at breath-taking speed, the reader learns about all kinds of fascinating things. About the age of our planet and the universe. About Darwin and his finches. About sexual selection and the survival of the fittest as the most important driving forces in evolution. And about why our body is still like a fish’s – like a mackerel’s, to be precise.

 

Supported by Floor Rieder’s fantastic illustrations, which sometimes clarify and sometimes add humour to the text, Schutten gloriously succeeds in clarifying life’s mysteries – well, not all of them perhaps, but quite a lot indeed. Loved by its readers and acclaimed by its critics, this truly is the ultimate non-fiction book for children.

 

 

Selection of prizes won:

 

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Jan Paul Schutten (1970) is the multi-award winning Dutch king of non-fiction for young readers. He wrote a great number of books about an ever greater number of subjects, ranging from the Roman Empire to animal language and from classical music to the city of Amsterdam.floorThe Mystery of Life is his self-named magnum opus, and judging from the many prizes won, the critics prove him right.

 

Floor Rieder (1985) studied Illustration at the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Zwolle. After her studies she moved to Amsterdam, where she began illustrating for newspapers and magazines. With The Mystery of Life, Floor debuted as a children’s book illustrator,  which gained her a Golden Paintbrush and instant national recognition.

 

 

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