LOCAL author Catherine Barr launches The Story of Life: A first book on evolution next week. The publication of the book, co-authored by Steve Williams coincides with the introduction of evolution to primary school syllabuses next year.

"It came about because my two girls, who are now 11 and 13, were at primary school and came home and talked about creation stories," Catherine explains, "and I asked whether they were also learning about evolution and what really happened, as well as these lovely stories. When they said they weren't I looked for a book about evolution aimed at their age group and couldn't find what I was looking for.

"There are a lot of textbook type books but nothing grabbed my imagination. Then I met Steve Williams, a science teacher at Gwernyfed High School and we decided to write the book together.

"As I've been writing all my life and interested in science - Catherine is a former editor at the Natural History Museum - the project has brought together a lot of different things for me, and it's something I felt strongly about."

The book is launched at Booth's Bookshop next Friday following its official publication the previous day by Janette Otter-Barry, an imprint of Frances Lincoln Publishers.

"We really didn't want it to be a text book so it's written in a narrative style so I think that's what's different about it. Throughout the process we worked with Brian Rosen at the Natural History Museum and he's been amazing, going through all the copy with us. The challenge has been to write simple copy about something complicated and something where the goalposts are constantly moving."

Catherine and Steve will be running a workshop in Booths Bookshop on Saturday, March 7 for primary school children, aged 6-11, and there are limited places still available. Later in the year, Catherine will also deliver a session at Hay Festival.