Reviews /

Nature’s Fascinating Friendships

Authored by Mike Hills
Illustrated by Kerry Hyndman
Published by Faber & Faber

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Nature’s Fascinating Friendships is a fascinating insight into the natural world and its relationships in many different ways.

It is a large format book full of amazing illustrations and facts that readers will find informative and fun. There is a fabulous contents page that lists the pairings you will find in the book. These are listed by the continents they can be found in making it easy for readers to either go from beginning to end or to pick particular interests from the list.

The introduction to the book gives us an insight into what follows. It explains very clearly and concisely what ‘symbiosis’ means and how the interactions between different species can happen in numerous ways and not always in a positive way. The emphasis in this instance is on the interactions that work favourably, benefitting both parties. To illustrate this the book introduces us to the relationship between humans and bacteria.

Each double page spread is a beautiful illustration in itself. Full of detail about the environment of both the living things and the way the relationship works between them. There are clear bullet points around the page in capsules with facts or questions for the reader. Answers found at the bottom of the page which saves going back and forth to a list at the end of the book.

The colour palette used is quite extraordinary. Going from muted shades to vibrant colours from page to page. There is an enormous amount of detail to look at and some really interesting and fun facts to accompany. I must admit I learnt a lot from this book. For example did you know ‘the bacteria in your gut produces 90% of  your serotonin, a chemical that plays an important role in  whether you feel happy or sad’?, or ‘that lanternfish play a key role in fighting climate change because they eat the plankton that is rich in carbon, which would otherwise seep into the atmosphere?’ No, neither did I.

A great addition to any Key Stage 2 school library or classroom. Perfect for those who love nonfiction. The information is shown in good size chunks will not put off those who may struggle a bit with reading information books. A book to be dipped into at leisure and astound your friends with information gleaned! Beautifully produced, a real treasure trove for all ages.