This is the fourth in the ‘A World of’ series and this time the incredible world of plants is explored in this superbly presented non-fiction book. It is fair to say books have come along way since I was learning about plants, my distinct memory of plants and primary schools is MRSGREN! This book is plant-astic and I learned more about plants from it than I did during my school days.
There’s plenty more to know about plants than pretty flowers in vases and vegetables in the garden. Look in all corners of the world and you’ll find plants. They can be found in water, on rocks, on land, in deserts, in the rainforest, even in the Arctic. From the tiniest of seeds to impossibly tall trees. Some can live for over a thousand years, for others life begins and ends in a matter of weeks. Each day plants are busying themselves by breathing, reproducing, eating, drinking, climbing, communicating, trapping, stealing, defending, fighting and making friends. Plants - big and small - are truly incredible, the most wonderful things grow from impossibly small seeds and without plants we would not be here. For food, for energy, for oxygen, we really are dependent on plants for all of life’s essentials. They really are one of the wonders of the world…
A World of Plants is teeming with information which is presented over thirty double page spreads. Thirty different areas of plant life are explored including: types of plant, processes, evolution, seeds, survival, dependence on animals and their importance to the survival of pretty much everything on the planet. More unusual topics cover soil, use of plants for medicinal and religious purposes, plants at risk of extinction and the historical collecting of plants.
The book is incredibly accessible given some of the complex subject matter. Ideas and concepts are carefully explained using rich vocabulary and plenty of scientific words. Photosynthesis, seed dispersal, the carbon cycle and reproduction are all superbly explained.
Each spread is completed in a single colour scheme with the utmost attention to detail. One side features detailed text and the other side features beautiful illustrations and further explanations which often come in the form of diagrams, flow charts and cross sections.
This is a proper grown-up non-fiction book for kids and children may well have a fight to keep the book away from their green-fingered parents. Published as a large format coffee-table sized book with a beautiful embossed front cover and printed on thick matt paper, this is one of those books that deserves to be on display.
James Brown and Martin Jenkins cover every single aspect of plants and have produced the definitive guide in what is a glorious celebration of plants. Regardless of age, this is every plant-lovers dream. It is a brilliant book for any budding botanist and for those who just want to further their understanding of plants.
Recommended for 9+.