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on 12 February 2014
I wanted to like this book, I love nature, I spend much of my life in the outdoors and am always hoovering up facts and folklore and looking for more. This book however is just too lightweight for me.

Whilst there are some gems of information in there, they are vastly outweighed by pages and pages of stuff that is just (to me) common knowledge or culled from sources so popular its hard to believe any nature lover won't have come across them before (eg the animals David Attenborough chose to save in the TV series Attenborough's Ark; or the fact that Charles Darwin came up with the Theory of Evolution).

Others have questionable links to nature (eg a list of the world's largest beef consumers by nation).
Still others seem a bit morally dubious (eg a recipe for how to make bird's nest soup - made from the nests of the hugely over-exploited Asian Swiftlet)
It is also quite American centric which surprised me (eg lists of American national parks and American state animal mascots.)

When you do get an interesting little tidbit, it is usually exactly that, a tidbit of information that is quickly skimmed over with no satisfying weight to it. (I'm possibly being too harsh here, the book is clearly intended to only have short articles, but it is frustrating just how short they are at times)

Most of the stories feel like they've been plucked from a news headline - in fact they often read like a nature column in a local newspaper which is regurgitating popular nature news features.

its not bad exactly - as I say there are some really interesting bits (eg how researchers recognise individual turtles; why birds will happily eat peanuts covered in chilli powder).

It would probably be a great book for a child or young teenager but if you're intending it for an adult nature lover I'd maybe look elsewhere.
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on 10 June 2013
Throughly enjoyed reading this, every page turned was a new wonder and left me wanting to know more.
I was however disappointed when turning one of the pages to realise that i had come to the end!
I honestly can't praise this book enough..........if you love nature then this is the book for you. I am certainly looking forward to the next one.
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on 18 June 2013
A handy sized book that will look good on any bookshelf or coffee table. The book contains plenty of weird and unusual facts about nature as seen from the eyes of Daniel Allen. Well written, it contains a subtlety of humour mixed with a serious undertone on conservation and will appeal to nature lovers, collectors of weird facts, pub quiz/puzzle enthusiasts, young and old. My favourite sections were the Schmidt sting pain index and the hippopotamus polka....
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on 11 June 2013
The Nature Magpie is a fantastic and well written collection of facts and figures - some will amaze, some will spark discussion, some will make you gasp . . . Whatever you read in this book, will give you a better understanding of our beautiful natural world. Daniel writes in a way that is easy to read, humorous and easy to digest. It is suitable for all ages - children (my 6 and 7 year olds have also enjoyed the book, and learnt a lot!!) to grand parents. Makes a great gift for anyone, as EVERYONE, regardless of who they are, is bound to enjoy the book and get something from it. Or just spoil yourself - you know you deserve it. A great read, and a great collection of information - all in one place. As one other reviewer said - the only bad thing about this book, is that, inevitably, you turn the last page :( I shall also be using this book as a reference, and to amaze my friends with miscellany about nature - yes I shall be stealing facts, just like a Magpie !!
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on 26 May 2013
'The Nature Magpie' is a fascinating book. It's filled with information on a wide variety of subjects that tempted me to delve deeper and do some research of my own. It's totally engrossing, absolutely brilliant, and I've learned a lot from it. If you want to know how many new species were identified in 2011, how to identify animal tracks, what bird's nest soup is really made from, what the Cloud Appreciation Society is ... and lots, lots more ... treat yourself to this book. You'll be glad you did!
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on 17 September 2013
A collection of anecdotes, facts and figures, folklore and literature from the natural world. Find out the likelihood of sharing your name with a hurricane, learn to dance the Hippopotamus Polka, or where are the planet's most biodiverse places - and much much more.
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on 22 May 2013
This book is an excellent read. It's full of interesting facts all about different areas of our natural world. It's written in a humorous style that will make you smile. It features current to long standing issues of nature. There is some great debate material in here. It makes you aware of how interlinked we are and makes you appreciate what we have in this world. A must buy.The Nature Magpie: A Cornucopia of Facts, Anecdotes, Folklore and Literature from the Natural World
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on 2 November 2014
From the first page I was totally engrossed in this book, and it works on so many levels.
You can read it, as I did, cover to cover, or pick it up and read the odd tid bit now again to expand your knowledge.

This is a must have for anyone who loves the Natural world and those who seek to explain it for us.
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on 14 January 2014
So much information and insight in such a small space. A great book for the coffee table or waiting room. Fun to dip into and then amaze your friends with your new-found wisdom and wit!
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on 14 January 2014
Very much a cornucopia of information. A quirky mix of fact, anecdote and folklore - a very easy read to dip in and out of.
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