Wild Australian life by Leonard Cronin. Illus. by Chris Nixon

cover image

The gorgeous cover of Wild Australian Life will immediately draw the reader to this wonderful new publication by Leonard Cronin, one of Australia's well-known authors of non-fiction books dealing with Australia’s diverse animal and plant life, and their natural habitats. Combined with the stunning illustrations by visual artist Chris Nixon, this book will be a fantastic source of information for readers of all ages.

From the appealing endpapers to the remarkable bird image on the introduction page and throughout the whole book, the reader will be fascinated both by the information shared as well as the images complementing the text. The Contents page is followed by information about the Animal Kingdom and an easy to comprehend classification table. The next double page provides a clever hook for the reader. With the title ‘Curious Discoveries,’ it highlights clues for different hidden creatures with just a magnifying glass and page number.

Some of the interesting topics covered in the book include Magnificent Mammals which discusses Monotremes, Placental Mammals and Marsupials, Skulls and Skeletons which looks at an array of different clearly labelled animal skeletons, Whales & Dolphins, Spiderly Tactics, Radical Reptiles and Masters of Disguise. Towards the end of the book are pages devoted to various habitats and creatures who dwell there, containing quite detailed and striking images as well as comprehensive information. In the final pages is an index plus a short paragraph about the author and the illustrator.

This larger hardback book has something to interest every reader and would make a beautiful gift for an avid animal lover and a fabulous resource for a school or public library.

Themes: Australia, Animals, Habitats, Behaviours, Adaptations, Animal Diversity.

Kathryn Beilby