Watercolour Illustration of plants. From the book The Molliebird.

The Molliebird

An evolution story.

Beautifully written as a narrative poem by PSTT Fellow Jules Pottle, and exquisitely illustrated by PSTT Fellow Rufus Cooper, The Molliebird tells the story of natural selection.

The Molliebird provides a highly engaging fictional context for discussion about evolution. The story skilfully supports teachers with how to identify and address children’s misconceptions about inheritance and changes within species.

The free to download teacher’s handbook includes background information, additional supporting ideas and cross-curricular activities.

The book

What's the story?

After a natural disaster that leaves her badly camouflaged in her surroundings, the bright blue Molliebird becomes desperate for her babies to survive. She notices that brown baby birds thrive, and so tries painting herself brown in the hope that her babies will be born brown, and she is devastated when this does not work.

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Molliebird front cover

Meet the authors

What are the benefits of reading The Molliebird with children?

Jules Pottle and Rufus Cooper talk about the misconceptions that children might have about inheritance and changes within species, and how their book could address this. They suggest how the book could be used with children. You can also hear children discussing their ideas about The Molliebird.

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Free teacher guide

How should I use The Molliebird with children?

This free Teacher Handbook offers a wealth of support and suggestions to promote discussion and engagement with The Molliebird story and the science behind it.

Download teacher guide
Teachers handbook front cover for book the Molliebird features three birds

If you don’t understand how evolution works, buy this book and your kids can explain it to you.

George McGavin

Watercolour illustration from the Mollibird book a bird is on the left with a worm in its beak

Safety Notice & Disclaimer

PSTT advises teachers to refer to either the CLEAPSS website or SSERC website for up to date health and safety information when planning practical activities for children.

PSTT is not liable for the actions or activities of any reader or anyone else who uses the information in these resource pages or the associated classroom materials. PSTT assumes no liability with regard to injuries or damage to property that may occur as a result of using the information contained in these resources. PSTT recommends that a full risk assessment is carried out before undertaking in the classroom any of the practical investigations contained in the resources.

All materials are ©Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) and are freely available to download and share for educational purposes. Whilst educators are free to adapt the resources to suit their own needs, acknowledgement of copyright on all original materials must be included. Rights to images included in the resource have been purchased for PSTT use only – as such, these images may only be used as part of this resource and may not copied into or used in other materials.