Review Blog

Oct 09 2018

An anthology of intriguing animals by Ben Hoare

cover image

DK, 2018. ISBN 9780241334393
Our planet is inhabited by so many different species, each of them fascinating in their own way. Over 100 of them, from the orca to the otter, the giraffe to the ant and all stops in between have been collected together in this beautifully presented book that is the perfect introduction to the animal kingdom for young readers.
Each creature has its own double-page spread featuring a large hi-definition photograph and just enough text to intrigue. There are unique facts - porcupines rattle their quills to warn off predators while the word "koala' means no drink in an Aboriginal language, referring to the koala getting most of its water needs from the eucalyptus leaves - as well as other intriguing information. There is a representative from all the major groups on the Tree of Life, and this, itself, is depicted at the end of the book.
Those who read my reviews regularly know that I believe that informal, shared reading is a critical element of honing literacy skills, particularly for boys, and this would be a perfect candidate for that. Boys also like to borrow big thick books and so it suits that criterion too, although this is one that has accessible language and layout, and a visual guide so young readers can find the one they are interested in without having to know its name so it is likely to actually make its way out of the library bag and onto the dining room table to provoke wonder and discussion as it is shared with other family members. With Christmas on the horizon, it would also make a unique and treasured gift!
Barbara Braxton

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