S and I were sent a copy of Creaturepedia for review by Mumsnet Book Club. When it first arrived I thought it was some sort of illustrated reference book for older children, and perhaps something we would put away until S was a little older… I was wrong!
This book is like an encyclopaedia of animals – but not categorised in the usual way. They are categorised by their skills, their colour, their homes, from A to Z. For example, the first pages are the architects – animals that build things, for example beavers, weaver ants, spiders. Each is beautifully illustrated, and many have a little line beneath their names to say what they do.
As you can see from this photo, the book also comes with a handy ribbon book mark – which is great as it means you can do a couple of pages at a time, talking about what each animal does, where it lives etc. S absolutely loves animals so this book has been a massive hit. She loves to point out what the animals are doing, or to point out their beak or tail or whatever else. Just lately she’s spent a lot of time on the page for endangered animals – because they all have a tear in their eye and she likes to point out that they are sad and crying.
There aren’t many words in this book which is great for S as she can just look at the pictures on her own if she wants to, or we can read the names together and talk about the animals. As she gets older, we can go through the book and use it as a starting point to find out more about different animals. In that way I think it has appeal for children of all ages.
The illustrations in this book are exquisite, with their surroundings also providing a talking point just as much as the animals themselves. The animals are beautifully stylised, mostly with big bulging eyes and smiles so even things like snakes and spiders, which children might find scary, look friendly and interesting.
When I was little, we had encyclopaedias on the book shelf, collecting dust – I don’t think I ever looked at them. I can see this being a book that lives on the shelf for S’s childhood, but is often pulled down and consulted for inspiration when learning about new animals or thinking of something to draw. A fantastic resource for children of all ages.
Thanks for reading.