We have always looked forward to new titles by Nicola Davies, knowing they will be entertaining and popular with their audience as well as authoritative and quietly educational, as she is a zoologist and has written many books on animals, whether in fiction form, as poetry or non-fiction – or a combination of all those. She is very fortunate to work with superb artists and has received many awards, the latest being a new one from Hachette Publishers as part of the School Library Association Information Book Award, for an Outstanding Contribution to Information Books.
So, as an alternative Friday Read post, we thought we would remind ourselves of a few of our recent favourites!
- Lots: the Diversity of Life on Earth, illustrated by Emily Sutton
This is so lovely you will want to frame every double spread. It is a simple explanation for very young children of our planet’s biodiversity, but after celebrating living things it doesn’t shy away from warning about humans’ role in maintaining a delicate balance.
(Walker Books, £12.99 hardback, ISBN 9781406360486, find it at a Norfolk Library)
- The Variety of Life, illustrated by Lorna Scobie
For slightly older children, this book looks at individual species. Each double spread portrays and describes one species, which vary hugely in number; for instance did you know there are more than 60,000 species of slug, whereas there are only 6 of sheep? Hmmm…Latin names are included. There is a glossary but no contents.
(Hodder, £14.99 hardback, ISBN 9781444931198, find it at a Norfolk Library)
- A First Book of Animals, illustrated by Petr Horacek
Davies has already produced a book of poems about nature with gorgeous illustrations by Mark Hearld. Now comes a book of similarly approachable verses, with a different but equally lovely visual accompaniment. This book won the Under 7 Award in the SLA Information Book Awards 2017.
(Walker Books, £14.99 hardback, ISBN 9781406359633, find it at a Norfolk Library)
- Tiny: The Invisible World of Microbes, illustrated by Emily Sutton
Books about microbes are usually illustrated with amazing photographs of a minuscule world. This book for younger readers takes a different approach, with simple descriptions of what microbes are and very beautiful illustrations to accompany the text.
(Walker, £11.99, 9781406341041, find it at a Norfolk Library)
- Amazing True Stories About Animals Behaving Badly, illustrated by Adam Stower
This one was read last term by our KS2 Reading for Pleasure group who said children in their classes found it accessible and different to the usual non-fiction texts they encountered. The illustrations went down a storm and many of the teachers commended how easily digestible the book was; perfect for class-time reading.
(Walker Books, £5.99, ISBN 9781406366051)
You can find an archive of our other Friday Read recommendations over here.