The Most Important Animal of All is a beautifully presented book that highlights the value of some of our most treasured creatures. Through thoughtfully presented facts and discussion it encourages young children to think critically, to learn about the interconnectedness of the natural world and, importantly, to protect it.
Endorsed by the British Ecological Society this high quality book is an excellent source of information but it is the approach to conveying this information that increases its appeal to children. It is an inspired touch to open the book with a classroom session on learning about animals and the instruction to the children to decide which animal is the most important of all. Young readers are instantly engaged and through text, beautiful illustrations by Hannah Bailey and photos they will learn enough to help them make an informed choice. From elephants to bees, sharks to tigers, bats to beavers the range of animals is diverse and interesting. Each creature’s features, habitat and its role in the ecosystem is explained carefully through detailed description and annotated illustrations. Visually this book is both attractive and informative being inviting to browse through and to study in more detail. Penny Worms explains both the importance of the different creatures and what is being done to protect animals under threat.
The discussion is left open ended for the readers to decide which they think is the most important. Will they agree with the experts? Which ever they decide upon they will have learned a great deal through the process. The final pages include information and photos of keystone species and ecosystems and the opportunity to find out more about each of the creatures via links to online sources of information. There is also a helpful glossary and index. The Most Important Animal of All would be an excellent addition to school libraries, valuable in the classroom and interesting to share at home. A really lovely non-fiction book and highly recommended.
There are some excellent free teachers’ resources written by Kerry Fitzpatrick, a Year 2 class teacher and Science Lead, available to download on the Mama Makes Books website here.
The Most Important Animal of All was published by Mama Makes Books on 19th August and is available to purchase online at Bookshop.org I should like to thank the publishers for providing my review copy.
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