Thames and Hudson

The Big Book of Birds


The fourth in the ‘Big Book of…’ series, ‘The Big Book of Birds’ is every bit as fascinating as the others. The large format makes it perfect for sharing and each spread is presented in Yuval’s playful style. A brilliant family book, younger children can spot the eggs hidden on each page ( a guide to locating them is included at the end) whilst older ones can enjoy the information. Everyone will love the illustrations!


A clear index shows ‘who’s inside’ the book and each section starts by posing a question which is then answered in the text. There are spreads focusing on particular birds and others on more general subjects, such as eggs. Advice for the potential bird spotter makes it clear that patience is needed to spot birds and that nests and eggs should not be touched. A comprehensive index at the end makes it easy to locate information.


The pages on flamingos explain their pink colouring, how they eat, try to impress a mate, cool themselves down and stand on one leg to sleep. There is enough information here to entertain or to act as a starting point for further investigation. Other spreads look at the hummingbird, kingfishers and hoopoes. Each is full of fascinating facts abut their appearance, feeding habits and nests.


In school, children could present further research in Yuval’s style, using his artwork for inspiration and carefully choosing snippets of information best suited to their design. The pages about giving garden birds a home might provide a starting point for looking after birds in the school grounds. Designed to capture interest and feed the intellect, ‘The Big Book of Birds’ is perfect for the budding ornithologist, birdwatcher or nature lover.

The Big Book of Birds Yuval Zommer

Thames and Hudson ISBN: 978-0500651513

You can read our review of ‘The Big Book of Bugs’ (shortlisted for our Information Category in 2017) here.

You can read our review of ‘The Big Book of the Blue’ here.


All 80 titles for the six categories of our long list have now been reviewed! Each and every one a fantastic book, highly recommended by JAB and the NSTAB team.

The short list will be announced on the 8th September. Votes from the panel are already coming in so here's a little reminder of the twelve fabulous books on the Information Category Long List.


How Does a Lighthouse Work?  Roman Belyaev, translated from Russian with the help of Masha Kulikova (b small publishing)


Suffragette: The Battle for Equality   David Roberts (Two Hoots)


Welcome to our World  Moira Butterworth, illustrated by Harriet Lynas  (Nosy Crow)


The Bee Book   Charlotte Milner  (DK)


Star Finder for Beginners: A Step by Step Guide to the Night Sky Foreword by Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock  (DK)


Young, Gifted and Black  Jamia Wilson, illustrated by Andrea Pippins (Wide Eyed)


The Histronauts: An Egyptian Adventure  Frances Durkin, illustrated by Grace Cooke (b small publishing)


Wild About Science John Farndon, Steve Parker and Sally Morgan (Miles Kelly)


Why Don't Fish Drown? and other vital questions about the animal kingdom  Anna Claybourne, illustrated by Claire Goble (Thames and Hudson) 


Professor Astro Cat's Human Body Odyssey    Dr Dominic Walliman, illustrated by Ben Newman

(Flying Eye Books)  


Politics For Beginners   Alex Frith, Rosie Hore and Louie Stowell, illustrated by Kellan Stover



Books! Books! Books!  Mick Manning, illustrated by Brita Granstrom (Otter-Barry Books)

An amazing group of books, but which of these twelve will be on the shortlist?

The Big Book of the Blue

DSC_0021 (2).JPG

Having treated us to the wonderful worlds of Bugs and Beasts, Yuval Zommer now takes us under water to celebrate all the creatures of 'the Blue'.  Starting with an introduction to ocean families- mammals, reptiles, crustaceans, etc- and how they move and breathe underwater, the book then focuses on different creatures, dedicating two beautifully blue pages to each.

DSC_0023 (2).JPG

Seahorses, penguins, dolphins and pufferfish are just a few of the marine creatures that are featured here. Fascinating facts are surrounded by Yuval's wonderful illustrations, making this a book to linger over again and again. Did you know that a boxfish is square? Or that dragonets swim along the sea floor? Did you even know dragonets existed?! And did you know that one of the deep-sea fish (depicted on a suitably dark background) is called an ogrefish? There is so much to learn on these pages!

DSC_0025 (2).JPG

With a section on 'fishy phrases' and hidden sardines to find throughout the book, there is plenty of humour to enjoy, although, the in book's final pages, the reader is reminded of the dangers posed to the oceans by our thoughtless actions. 

Published on the 10th May, 'The Big Book of the Blue' is a brilliant introduction to the wonderful world of water!

The Big Book of the Blue   Yuval Zommer and Barbara Taylor

Thames and Hudson    ISBN: 978-0500651193

You can read our review of The Big Book of Bugs here.