Saturday, November 28, 2020

Hidden Planet by Ben Rothery

Hidden Planet by Ben Rothery
October 2019 Penguin UK


A beautiful crossover book for all ages, this is the book natural-history illustrator Ben has wanted to read since he was a child. Simple text will provide an insight into these lesser-known birds and animals - some endangered and some less so - told from the perspective of a detail-obsessed illustrator.

'This is my love letter to Planet Earth; a celebration of her hidden species, from the bold and the beautiful to the interesting but ugly. And while not a complete list, I hope that these few give a glimpse of the outstanding diversity of nature' - Ben Rothery

Animal lovers behold.  
This is an absolute beauty of a book.  
The book is impressive before you even open it.  
It's large (h378mm  x  w280mm )...and that lion!

I will admit to not having actually read all of the text.  I can't get past the illustrations, they're breathtaking, as you can see from some of the internals below.  There is a good deal of information in this book though, with each animal having 5-6 paragraphs of text, and because of the books size, I can just see kids, and families pouring over the pages on the floor or around a table.

There are plenty of animals you will already know and love (lions, zebras, koalas) and then there are some you may see and read about for the first time  (clouded leopards and pangolins).  There's also general information about a variety of animals under topics such as camouflage, dimorphism and hidden abilities.

Hidden Planet is the title of this book so the hidden theme runs through all of the sections in the book.  There's an introduction explaining this at the start of the book:

Hidden Planet

When we think of something as being hidden, we normally imagine a creature that is out of sight or cleverly disguised as something else.   Perhaps it is cunning, shy or sly.  Maybe it is small or comes out only under the cover of darkness. It may live deep in a rainforest or in a cave, bury itself in the sand or spend its life high in the treetops.

There are also hidden relationships between species that might seem otherwise unconnected.  For many years, humans have invented fantastical stories to explain these connections.  One more secret of Planet Earth can be found in the unexpected abilities and behaviours of some of the creatures we think we already know.

The creatures in the is book are hidden in some of these ways.

This book will appeal to animal lovers, art lovers, and lovers of beautiful books.  

If butterflies are more your thing, Ben Rothery has you covered there too...look out for Sensational Butterflies.

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