The Animal Book


What is it?

Reference book.

Who is it by?

By Ruth Martin, consultant Dr Kim Dennis-Bryan, illustrated by Dawn Cooper, and published by Lonely Planet Kids.

What is it about?

The Animal Book highlights 100 animals from around the world. The animals are grouped according to continent.

There are lots of interesting facts and tidbits about the featured animals. There are huskies, reindeer, narwhals, bears, beavers, wolves, snakes, bees, butterflies, tigers, snakes, sharks, whales, elephants and even komodo dragons.

Some fascinating facts:

  • Scientists have found that the black widow spider does not usually eat the male after mating. They only kill smaller males if they are the best prey available. No surprise that males prefer well-fed females!
  • The ruby-throated hummingbirds can fly non-stop for about 800km!
  • Studies suggest that flamingos stand on one leg to keep warm so that less heat is lost compared to if they had both legs in the water for long periods of time.

There is a page at the back of the book on What Happens Next? This is where children are encouraged to play a part in animal conservation.

What can children learn from it?

Children will learn many fascinating facts about the different animals found around the world. As this is a Lonely Planet Kids book, the animals are categorised according to continent, making it easier for kids to understand the habitats of the animals. Not forgotten are the insects and underwater animals.

What did I like about it?

I loved that the pages offer facts, photos, illustrations, scientific information, and current news on the animals.

I think kids who are animals lovers will enjoy reading this book and slowly picking out bits of information. There is a nice mix of popular and lesser known animals as well as those who are facing extinction.

While all this information can be obtained from the Internet and reference books, Lonely Planet Kids has done a commendable job, as always, in the presentation of facts and making it very readable and attractive to young readers.

Where to get it?

You can get this book from major bookstores or online at

Should you get it?