Thursday, January 6, 2022

Nature's Treasures: Tales Of More Than 100 Extraordinary Objects From Nature by Ben Hoare


I did not know that this was a children's book when I got it but that didn't stop me from enjoying it. First, NATURE'S TREASURES is a gorgeous book. The edges of the pages are gilt and it has marvelous full-color illustrations and photos on every page. It is divided into three sections: animals, plants, and minerals, with a bonus section at the end about natural oddities (such as honeycomb and fossils). This is basically a celebration of the natural world, praising everything from pyrite (which can form cube-like crystals) to the fruits and leaves of various plants to feathers to seashells to the humble egg.

NATURE'S TREASURES is packed with all sorts of trivia. For example, giant clams get as large as a double-bed and actually get so big that they lose the ability to close and can live for over one hundred years! Puffins are also apparently the only birds that molt their beaks (they have a summer beak and a winter beak). Fossilized trees are basically living spectroscopes and they are sometimes called rainbow wood because you can tell what type of minerals formed in them based on the color. Oh, and ginkgo is so old that it predates plants that flowered or bore fruit.

This would make a great gift for a precocious kid who's into life sciences, but it would also make a gorgeous coffee table book for a nerd who loves art (because the illustrations in this book are, again, gorgeous). It's on par with some of those Eyewitness books, but more artsy, just to give you an idea of how this book is constructed. I also like that it doesn't balk at defining the scientific terms for kids.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review!

5 out of 5 stars

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