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The Wonder Garden: Wander through the world's wildest habitats and discover more than 80 amazing animals Hardcover – 3 Sep 2015
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Selected for Children’s Special as non-fiction title as a One to Watch
"Wide-Eyed’s 2015 list is a really diverse selection of innovative non-fiction - this is my favourite€ ¦ Wander the world’s wildest habitats from the Amazon to the Great Barrier Reef- and discover life in all its dazzling variety... Broom is the author of Animalium and The Wonder Garden sits very well as a companion title."
Selected for Children’ s Special as non-fiction title as a One to Watch
"Wide-Eyed’ s 2015 list is a really diverse selection of innovative non-fiction - this is my favourite… Wander the world’ s wildest habitats from the Amazon to the Great Barrier Reef- and discover life in all its dazzling variety... Broom is the author of Animalium and The Wonder Garden sits very well as a companion title."
About the Author
Author JENNY BROOM studied at the Slade before becoming a writer and editor of children's books. Her natural history title Animalium was awarded Children's Book of the Year by the Sunday Times, and shortlisted for the National Book Awards and Blue Peter Award. She lives and works in London.
Icelandic born artist KRISTJANA S WILLIAMS studied graphic design and illustration at Central St Martins and quickly gained critical acclaim as Creative Director of Beyond the Valley for 8 years. Williams' work has become well known throughout the industry, 2013 saw the studio Highly Commended for ‘Best Use of Colour' at the Dulux Colour Awards. Kristjana has won a D&AD award, a New York Festivals Grand Prix & First Prize and been shortlisted for the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.
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Top customer reviews
Its divided into five main sections, The Chihuahuan Dessert, The Amazon Rain Forest, The Black Forest, The Himalayan Mountains, and The Great Barrier Reef.
The book begins with a big colouful world map so that you know where all these places are .Its packed full of facts for older children but its great for little ones to as you can talk about all the lovely pictures and animals.
Hopefully there will be more books like this and full marks to the illustration team.
Please note that, while there is information on the habitats and species, this is not a biology textbook. As the book says, "Here you will meet real-life animals in fantastical environments that are inspired by nature". That's inspired by nature not an accurate depiction of nature. The colours and illustrations are not strictly true to life. Some of the animals' eyes are a bit too large and cartoonish, some of the animals seem to smile, some of the colouring is clearly fantastical. It's a wonder garden rather than a nature garden. The colouring and style on the front cover reflect the contents.
The book is hard backed and significantly bigger than average. It needs to be read at a table ideally to lay flat. It isn't very thick so it's not that heavy. The cover is a riot of colour mainly in blue and day-glo pink and is embossed with gold so it reflects the light. It's very inviting.
After an introduction there are five different habitats (a map is included to show where in the world they are situated which is handy for an adult). There is one on each major continent although sadly the Arctic regions are not included so there are no penguins ! (the colder areas probably don't fit the garden theme of the book). Each area starts with a double page spread introducing the habitat and each area has a different vibrant colour as a theme. For example, the Amazon Rainforest is bright yellow. The first page gives you some facts and a short narrative trying to explain how you would feel and what you would see and hear were you in the habitat it is describing. Strangely, the book makes a lot of use of sentences in capital letters, especially for emphasis, which isn't helpful for under-confident readers. This first page illustrates and names some animals which are pictured in a setting which is intricate and highly coloured. Each habitat then has two more double pages illustrating and giving information about some more animals native to the environment described. There isn't a lot of information about each one (for example we get no idea of size and little of eating habits) but all the illustrations are very colourful. A slightly different colour palate is used for each section.
This is not a text book. If a child is interested in animals they will want more facts than they can get here. This is actually a book for a child who enjoys pictures and illustrations and maybe wants to draw their own. I suspect that the words will be less read than the pictures will be pored over.
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