- Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth by Nicola Davies
ISBN 978-0-7636-9483-8 $15.99
Reviewed from galleys R 6-9 yrs
Nature writer Davies turns now to the topic of biodiversity: “So far, human beings have found and counted almost two million different kinds of living things.” The text illuminates the many different places living things can get discovered, whether they be trees in forests or microbes in a lake, noting that “thousands of new species are found every year.” The book effectively concretizes a complicated and abstract subject and thoughtfully links it to human degradation of the environment (“All over the world, human beings are destroying pieces of the pattern”). As is usual for Davies’ early biology, smaller text gives more information on some pages; for additional factual value, many of the species are clearly captioned. There’s an old-fashioned look to the retro-toned illustrations and the pinafore-clad girl who guides viewers through them; while the busy spreads sometimes lack compositional focus, the draftsmanship for individual species is precise and clear yet artistic. Davies is a master at inviting young people to see the natural world in new ways; this is a solid addition to her oeuvre.