Just Imagine

Darwin’s Voyage of Discovery

Authored by Jake Williams
Illustrated by Jake Williams
Published by Pavilion

Darwin’s Voyage of Discovery details the life and various expeditions of one of the world’s greatest scientists, Charles Darwin, as he discovers the natural wonders that the corners of the world have to offer.

The book provides a bountiful supply of information about Darwin, not just through the description of his life and discoveries, but through the delightful additional details included by the author-illustrator, Jake Williams. His vector illustrations depict cross-sections of Darwin’s ship, his tools and maps of the various routes that he followed in his exploration of the world. These simple, clean and attractive graphic images support the wealth of information given about this exciting subject. The colour-scheme has clearly been carefully selected, with deep blues, greens, pinks and yellows creating a calm and beautiful reading experience.

As a topic often tackled in Upper Key Stage 2, I feel that school-based learning on the theme of Darwin and his theory of evolution could be well supported by this book due to the engaging images, child-friendly language, and well organised information. It could also be looked at as a model for teaching report writing as a non-fiction genre. However, this isn’t to say that it should only be read as an educational tool; Darwin’s Voyage of Discovery is as pleasurable and interesting to read as it is informative. It would be enjoyed by a wide range of children in Key Stage 2 and beyond, particularly those interested in science and nature.