nonfiction nuggets…about the vast animal kingdom

Animal Life, by Richard Walker… one of DKs “one million things” encyclopedias

Dorling Kindersley has taken their trademark fabulous photography and put together this eye-popping, fact-asaurus, amazing volume all about animals!

It is a hefty book in a number of ways:  a nice, meaty 130 glossy pages in length; gazoodles of informative bits; glorious, colorful photographs bursting out the seams; and the presentation of quite challenging biology material. 

It’s a book that a kindergartener could enjoy paging through, just enjoying the pictures and hearing a tiny few bits read or summarized aloud;
and a book that an 11-year-old could browse, learning some awesome facts along the way;
and a book that an animal-lover of any age could really settle in with, coming away with a new and informed appreciation of the wonders of the animal world.  Keep in mind that
this is an encyclopeida — not a book to sit down and read cover-to-cover. 

The contents are divided into three sections: Diversity — the most challenging section in terms of biological concepts presented — explaining a number of aspects of taxonomy in words and photos.  Life Skills — a delightful collection of pages showing and telling us the many ways animals see, hear, move, feed, communicate, and so on.  Very cleverly done.  And Lifestyles, a section with pages on many different animal homes, animals in the dark, animals in extreme climates, migration, colonies, and much more. 

The photography and page lay-out are outstanding, as we’ve come to expect from DK…
Birthday balloons and confetti festoon a page about life spans, with colorful buttons marking the average life of quite an array of creatures.
…Postage stamps from all around the world, featuring all sorts of birds, are used to highlight the unique traits of many species of birds. 
… An incredible number of photos — a chimp sneering, a frilled lizard fanning out his impressive neck collar, brilliant purple starfish,  a wide-eyed bush baby  –capture our attention at every page turn.

Altogether, there is a whole lot packed in here.

So…which do you think lives longer — a kangaroo or a lobster?  How do snakes smell their food?  And what is it that keeps a whale from collapsing from the pressure at 10,000 feet under water?  You can find out these and many more fascinating animal facts while poring over beautiful nature photography in this book 🙂