Review of We Are Human Animals

We Are Human Animals We Are Human Animals
by Rosie Haine; illus. by the author
Primary    Eerdmans    48 pp.
3/23    9780802856012    $18.99

Readers journey to the Stone Age to meet our human ancestors and the animals that inhabited the Earth with them. Haine’s text is spare and lyrical. Although there is no written history, the archaeological record—including artifacts of tools and cave paintings that are shown throughout in eye-pleasing earth-tone digital illustrations with handmade textures—allows her to make assertions and relate facts about life at that time. “Some animals became our friends. Others were our food. Some thought that we were their food!” Subtle hints about evolutionary development appear on the endpapers, with the opening set depicting humans as they may have appeared then and the final set imagining similar-looking humans with slight cosmetic changes today. The dual concepts—that all animals are connected and that humans are connected to their past—­occasionally bifurcate the account, but the distraction is slight. An author’s note provides brief information about the Paleolithic period spotlighted here as well as additional renderings of artifacts from the period.

From the March/April 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Betty Carter
Betty Carter, an independent consultant, is professor emerita of children’s and young adult literature at Texas Woman’s University.

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