In this brilliant presentation of a revolutionary thinker's life, the picture book becomes an art form "As far as I can judge, I am not apt to follow blindly the lead of other men . . . " Charles Darwin was, above all else, an independent thinker who continues even now to influence the way we look at the natural world. His endless curiosity and passion for detail resulted in a wealth of notebooks, diaries, correspondence, and published writings that Peter Sis transforms into a visual treasure trove. A multilayered journey through Darwin's world, "The Tree of Life "begins with his childhood and traces the arc of his life through university and career, following him around the globe on the voyage of the Beagle, and home to a quiet but momentous life devoted to science and family. Sis uses his own singular vision to create a gloriously detailed panorama of a genius's trajectory through investigating and understanding the mysteries of nature. In pictures executed in fine pen and ink and lush watercolors - cameo portraits, illustrated pages of diary, cutaway views of the Beagle, as well as charts, maps, and a gatefold spread - Peter Sis has shaped a wondrous introduction to Charles Darwin. "The Tree of Life" is a 2003 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year and Notable Children's Book of the Year, and a 2004 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.