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4.5 out of 5 stars28
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 5 December 2006
Every home should have one. The pictures are incredible - just like watching the series but you get to pore over every detail in your own time. I bought it as a Christmas present but I would love to keep a copy of it for myself. Just beautiful - and what a fantastic price!
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Planet Earth would make a great present for a young person who is interested in the natural world. It opens up views from the microscopic level up to the perspectives from the moon that unveil the Earth and its animals and plants in new ways. It's almost as though you have just arrived on a spaceship to an unknown world. Most of the book will seem unfamiliar to you.

Where many books about the natural world are filled with seeming hyperbole ("you can see this feature from space"), Planet Earth does its best to display the basis for those references by making the statement and showing the photographic evidence. As a result, this book makes a serious impression on the range of challenging environments on Earth, the reasons for each challenge, and examples of how animals and plants have successfully adapted to those challenges. Darwin would be envious that you can see more in one book than he could in a lifetime of study.

If you didn't see the television series or the DVD, here's the structure:

Whole Earth (overview of how the various regions differ and why)
Frozen Poles (the Arctic and the Antarctic and why they differ)
Great Forests (huge bands of trees in temperate climes)
Great Plains (the semi-arid regions)
Grand Sands (extended deserts both hot and cold)
Mountain Heights (the highest peaks and their environments)
Underworld (caves)
Fresh Water (lakes and rivers)
Rainforests (tropical jungles)
Shallow Seas (Coral-inhabited areas)
Open Ocean Depths (the bulk of the seas)

Each section contains information about the geology, physics, and chemistry of the region's character and origins. A number of stories about the plants and animals that inhabit the areas are included. The section also displays some of the most magnificent views. The book is generously illustrated with the text being less than half of the pages printed.

The book's main drawback is that the photographs are often not reproduced very well. As a result, views may be muddy, indistinct, and hard to interpret. Take a few extra seconds and stare closely, and you'll usually see something remarkable. The book was obviously edited to provide the most unusual views, even where reproduction would suffer some. I think the decisions were usually pretty wise.

I cannot emphasize enough how fascinating I found the book. By taking me to so many places I will never see (restricted caves, unusual mountainsides, rare tropical locales, and Antarctica), I was able to extend my understanding of life on Earth in important new ways. I'm sure I'll be integrating the views for years to come.

I especially commend the sections about the whole Earth, Antarctica, untouched forests, limitless deserts, and caves as showing me new dimensions of why wilderness is important to us. Ansel Adams would have liked to see and photograph these sites.

Take a good look!
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I, like a lot of people, thoroughly enjoy a lot of the TV documentaries that the BBC Natural History Unit produce - and especially so if they're narrated/presented by Sir David Attenborough as he seems to bring out the most of the presentation, despite the filming often being the significant element !

This 'Planet Earth' book, along with many others of the 'book of the programme' genre based on the BBC Natural History Unit's work, is an excellent example of why still photos and text can often compare very favourably, even better, than video/voice (I also have the Blu-ray of this series).

This is especially so as a fairly recent trend (ie problem !) is to almost 'drown out' what we see and hear with music deemed to be dramatically relevant to the moment being 'covered'. The narration can also be rather simplistic, generic ands a bit 'twee' for my liking....

With this book you enjoy the best of what 'Planet Earth' had to offer, at your own pace and with a wealth of quite stunning photos reproduced to the best possible effect on good quality paper - albeit that the soothing tones of Sir David are absent !

The Amazon product webpage includes a 'Look inside' feature so you can get a good idea of what's on offer....

So, in some ways this book is better than the TV series and considering that it should be easily possible to pick up a very decent-condition 'used' copy for a snip on Amazon Marketplace as I did.

For lovers of these kind of books and especially the work of the BBC Natural History Unit it is something of a 'no-brainer' and highly recommended.
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on 30 December 2008
This is the perfect book for an introduction into the nature of our planet. It has some stunning photographs, and it provides an informative view of how wildlife has adapted, and how ecosystems operate.

However, it is NOT for science buffs only. It is written in a way that makes it accessible to all audiences, whether you're a Zoo-ologist or you just have a curiosity for wildlife, it is a really enjoyable read, and worth every penny.

The photography is as breathtaking as the photography in the original BBC series, and will leave you nothing short of gobsmacked.
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on 28 April 2016
Item described as "very good condition" but there was a rip in the sleeve of the book and it has significant wear on its edges. If item had been described as "fair" then I would agree with the description.
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on 1 January 2011
Whether you have seen the Planet Earth DVD series or not, this book really is spectacular with some stunning photographs and interesting text. It is well structured by habitat and relatively easy to follow. If you have watched the series, you will find that this book is quite like a review and you may notice that it ends up repeaating a lot of what was in the series, but i found this good as it reinforced what i already knew!
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on 23 February 2011
It doesn't matter what he does, whether it be books or documentaries, he never fails to please. As with Planet earth in Picture.I originally bought this for my fiance, however we both read it. This is also ideal for a younger person. My Neice does enjoy looking at this when she visits. I would definitly recommend it to anyone of any ages. :-) A***
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on 3 April 2014
Like any BBC series of books, this one has a wealth of information and plenty of lovely pictures to support the interesting text. It is better to read this book first before watching its video which makes it very vivid. Bundled with 312 pages of knowledge and information about our Planet Earth - The Only One that sustains life!!??
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on 26 May 2010
I really enjoyed the Planet Earth series which is why I brought this book. It has the most amazing pictures and interesting information. It's a great alternative to watching the tv. The only thing which would make it better is having David Attenborough read it to you.
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on 31 October 2007
I used this to nurture my son's interest...and get him focused on his A'level geography, great buy, even more so as the price has come down since it was originally published
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