What a splendid idea to begin this journey of discovery with a quotation from Albert Einstein: ‘I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious’. Thus this large format and visually magnificent book of sixty seven wall charts about the natural world encourages an investigative approach from the outset. There are some specific questions for readers to consider: ‘Why do animals migrate?’, ‘How do bees make honey?’ and ‘How do plants reproduce?’ But, as they move through the book, there are some ‘big shape’ understandings that young readers are helped to acquire – not least why plants and animals have a particular appearance and behave as they do, and the ways in which different plants and animals adapt to survive. So young learners are presented with a broad and exciting canvass. And they are given every help with their journey of discovery. The charts are colour-coded to indicate their subject matter: yellow for information about habitats, orange for facts about particular species and grey for explanation about the adaptations that make it possible for living things to survive. Each chart is a small masterpiece of design: some are presented in landscape format, often to suggest the movement of creatures across space. This is the case in ‘Life at the end of the earth’ which has a subtle palette suggesting the colours of the creatures in the seas of the Antarctic while ‘Life in tropical Rain Forests’ is in portrait format to show effectively the different levels – forest floor, understory and canopy – at which the plants and creatures live. Chart number 3 shows how animals and plants are grouped: a basic organisation of plants, for example, is into flowering and non-flowering kinds while animals can be broadly assigned to either an invertebrate (having no backbone) or vertebrate (having a backbone) group. Then there are further divisions within each group – into sponges and crustaceans and reptiles and mammals and so on. Other charts explain world habitats and how creatures fight for survival. Many of the charts inform about particular plants and creatures and show the sheer diversity of life on earth: some huge creatures are included – for example ‘The blue whale’ as well as tiny ‘Micro-creatures’. There are some charts about intriguing creatures and plants – ‘Bewildering beetles’ for example in chart 23 and ‘The secret life of plants’ in chart 30. Particular features- ‘Skeletons and skulls’ and ‘Food chains and webs’ are the focus of some charts. However, the mood changes in the final chart, ‘The Changing Planet’, which shows a landscape filled with pollutants of air, land and water which threaten the survival of many species and warns that if we want to justify our name – ‘homo sapiens’ which of course means ‘wise person’ – we must find ways of protecting this ‘wonderful world we call home’ for future generations. This would be an excellent resource to use in school or a hugely enjoyable book to have in a child’s home collection.
http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png 0 0 Angie Hill http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png Angie Hill2016-07-05 13:39:002022-01-06 17:15:28The Curiositree Natural World: A Visual Compendium of Wonders from Nature
Illustrator: Owen Davey