University of Toronto Humanist Chaplaincy: Evolution Made Clear for Kids in “Pepper’s Special Wings”.
(Mary Anne is a Humanist from Oakville, ON, a member of HPHC)
Contact: Brian Magee, 202-238-9088 ex. 105, Mobile: (202) 681-2425 firstname.lastname@example.org
(Washington, DC – Nov. 13, 2012) – In order to give parents a fun and effective tool when teaching young children evolution and the science behind it, author Mary Anne Farah has written Pepper’s Special Wings, a children’s ebook that uses the Peppered Moth species, a recent example of natural selection, as its inspiration.
“Children have the right to know the truth about how life evolves and species change,” says Farah. “The well-documented story of how the Peppered Moth species eventually changed due to pollution darkening the plants where they congregated was perfect for a children’s book. The new survival advantage for moths with darker wings is an easy example to explain to children with no need to use words that may not have yet been learned, such as species, population, predation and camouflage.”
The story of Pepper the moth covers more than just evolution, however. While Pepper’s Special Wings relates to small children about how Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory of natural selection works, children will also identify with Pepper’s struggles with the recurring childhood themes of self-esteem, self-image, bullying and being teased.
“Children will see that sometimes being different is what makes them amazing!” Farah said.
The book is a hit with the kids who have read it. “I like the story. It shows how the moth that was teased for being different made something big and became not different,” said Rami M., 7, from Pennsylvania. “I love the pictures and colours,” said Jasmine L, 7, from Ontario. “I like how Pepper was lucky and that she had babies.”
The book also contains questions and points of discussion parents can use to talk about the topics in the book with their children.
“Mary Anne did a lovely job of explaining accurately how a species can adapt the way it looks as a result of changes in the environment, as well as informing readers about camouflage, predation and natural selection,” Parent Education Manager Nikki Taylor said of the book. “This was done sensitively and in a way that would not feel threatening for most children. I found this book to be very informative and age-appropriate.”
Humanist Press is the publishing house of the American Humanist Association, providing material for the humanist/freethought/atheist market since 1995. The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists and atheists in the United States. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, DC, its work is extended through more than 150 local chapters and affiliates across America.
Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.