The book collecting gene goes back a long way.
In fact my father has probably got even more books than me, including an ancient set of Encyclopaedia Britannica volumes that I always used for my biology homework.
But if I was at school now I’d ditch Encyclopaedia Britannica in a trice and turn to a stunning new children’s book called Animalium.
Written by Jenny Broom and illustrated by Katie Scott, Animalium is a work of art – a bit like a museum in book form.
The book features 160 species of reptiles, birds and mammals, all arranged in evolutionary order to show how the animal kingdom has developed over time. It details how they evolved, where they can be found and how they live.
Animalium is designed to appeal to all ages – from nature enthusiasts to the simply plain curious – but what really sets it apart are the illustrations. The endpapers, with their drawings of fish, frogs, birds and starfish, are so glorious that I’d love to have them as wallpaper.
If you’re looking for a book for a child who is interested in animals, nature and evolution, this is a real collectors’ item.
Animalium by Jenny Broom and Katie Scott (Big Picture Press, £20)