Animalium  by Katie Scott and Jenny Broom

Published by Big Picture Press (ISBN 978-1783700608)

A glorious museum inside the covers of a book…..

Animalium is a book that any family can enjoy regardless of their demographic. It has something for everyone, or at least anyone with more than a passing interest in any creature with four or more legs, or even no legs at all!

Scott and Broom take us on a magical journey across the branches of Darwin's tree of life, explaining its similarity to our own family tree and we can follow the evolution of the animal kingdom. The images are glorious and all readers could find something to interest them. I think its genius lies in the way that the author sets up the "visit" and then makes the story of evolution accessible to all. Once past the "entrance hall", we can visit galleries full of turtles, tortoises and terrapins, owls, skates and rays, hoofed mammals, flightless birds, marsupials and so on. Scott adds further dimensions but digressing into an exploration of a couple of habitats and anatomy.

The pictures are pure joy and the visual quality of the book overall is amazing.  It works on many levels - simply as a picture book for the very young or right through to the explanation of the idea of the Tree of life and full Latin names for older students. It is a book to treasure and re-visit time and time again.