Saturday, 16 March 2019

The Great Big Book of Irish Wildlife by Juanita Browne and Barry Reynolds (Children's, Non-fiction, 10E/10E)

October 2018, The O'Brien Press, 80 pages, Hardback, Review copy

Book summary from The O'Brien Press
 A beautiful picture book tracking nature through the seasons in Ireland. It explores nature in your back garden as well as weird and wonderful natural phenomena, such as the metamorphosis from Tadpole to Frog; the Red Deer rut in autumn; or a starling flock in winter.

Nayu's thoughts
I love anything bright and colourful which is what attracted me to this book (there is the possibility I just got sent it rather than it being a request). I absolutely adore children's non-fiction because the books are crammed with facts, there are usually cute illustrations (brilliant ones by Barry in this book) loads of photos, and are less dry than 'adult' non-fiction books. (Academic non-fiction books). 

This book looks at all aspects of wildlife in Ireland throughout the different seasons. There are photos galore, each page bringing the facts to life in a way that is memorable and made me want to find out more about the animals in question. There are both general views on nature, as well as ones that are creature specific. My favourite section was on page 68 which discusses hibernation: there are cute photos of bats and hedgehogs both of which I love!

Admittedly I am an O'Brien fangirl, so this review is probably biased, but it is genuinely a fun read which I know all readers, regardless of age, will enjoy. I really hope O'Brien publishes more like this! I was surprised to learn about dolphins around Ireland (although it probably should have been obvious), seeing puffins made me smile, and I hastily turned the pages when insects came up. I can't remember if this fact is in the book, but the best thing about Ireland is that there are no snakes! The reason is given in folklore which I also have a memory blank over, but with a snake phobia Ireland is very safe for me to visit. 

See more of Barry's work on his website.

Suggested read 
For books that focus on a specific area check out the A (Place name) Year In series including A New York Year and A Texas Year by Tania McCartney and Tina Snerling (Children's, Picture book, 10E/10E, short 'n' sweet review) 

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