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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Adrienne Barman
Age Range: 6-8
Roll up, roll up – welcome to the greatest show on Earth – a reference perhaps to the famous 1952 film of the same name set in a circus. Here though, we meet a colourful cast of more than 600 creatures showcased as you’ve never seen them before.
Within this handsome, 216-page pictorial encyclopaedia by Swiss illustrator Adrienne Barman, young readers will discover an amazing array of animals from around the world. Creaturepedia has an ingenious way of listing the content, which is not in the traditional alphabetical way, but instead, according to a variety of criteria such as outstanding physical characteristics including: the architects such as spiders, beavers and termites; big-eared beasts; homebodies; the faithful; the long-tongued; masters of camouflage, the show-offs; the munch-it-uppers or the pretty-in-pink. There are also categories for endangered animals, those that have become extinct and even a chapter on mythical creatures.
The appealing, rich, colourful, cartoon-like illustrations are glorious and packed with detail. Most of the illustrations are humorous, but there is a serious message too. Who can fail to be moved by the tears of a giant panda or the Orang-utan in the 'Endangered' species section? By illustrations alone, Barman is able to convey the heartbreakingly desperate plight of these intelligent majestic creatures that are at risk of extinction.
Barman has created something truly special in this wonderful, original guide to the animal kingdom full of eclectic facts and engaging illustrations. The quality of the edition is superb: the sturdy and vibrant colour cover together with the layout and fluorescent orange silk bookmark will make this book something that children, (and adults), will want to treasure for many years to come.