Getting any child interested in the natural world can only be a good thing, but there’s far more to the animal kingdom than lions, tigers and bears. In his first book Martin Brown introduced us to a host of lesser known creatures in the hope that we’d sit up and take notice. Now he’s done it again with a second volume, where you’ll meet the ringtail cat (not a cat), the maned wolf (not a wolf) and the forest musk deer (not a true deer), amongst many others.
Martin Brown’s cartoon illustrations are incredibly faithful adaptations of the animals that manage to inject a lot of humour too. He also has some fun with the text, coupling wit with the information of how the creatures live, and like his Horrible Histories work there’s even a few gag cartoons dotted about for extra giggles. But there’s a serious side to the endeavour as well. Many of the creatures are threatened or endangered, so it’s an opportunity to raise their plight with the reader and wave their flags on their behalf. Half the battle is knowing these creatures exist in the first place.
I like to think I know a bit about the natural world but like the first book there are plenty of animals in here I’d not heard of. Particular favourites included the dingiso (a tree kangeroo) and the weird looking Blainville’s beaked whale. But that’s half the fun. Discovering the unusual and the seldom seen makes it a fascinating and funny read. An excellent idea executed through an excellent book.
And if you liked that: The first book is still available and it’s just as great