Little People, Big Dreams: David Attenborough; Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, illustrated by Mikyo Noh
The son of a professor and a linguist, David grew up on a university campus, a great place for a nature lover. From an early age he studied animals, collected fossils and curated his own collection of specimens. He studied hard and became an expert in natural science but what he wanted more than anything was to see animals in their natural habitats. Through the power of television he showed people the natural world like never before and became one of the most famous naturalists in the world…
David Attenborough is one of may absolute favourite humans and this is quite possibly my favourite book in the Little People, Big Dreams series of famous biographies. It is just perfect for introducing children to his life; from his early childhood years exploring the natural world to his academic studies to his television shows and his conservation work.
If anyone is going to inspire future generations to care about animals, nature and the planet then it will be David Attenborough. With clear messages around conservation and the need for us all to be naturalists, this is a superb biography for children of any age. We are never too young (or too old) to take responsibility for caring about the wonders of the natural world and because of Attenborough we know what we need to care about and why we need to care about it. In the words of the great man, ‘No one will protect what they don’t care about; and no one will care about what they have never experienced.’
Attenborough has had so much of an impact on the natural world that several animals and plants have been named after him. I imagine readers of all ages will particularly like knowing that there is now a dinosaur called an Attenborosaurus - fun this is but it is also testament to the influence that this man has had within his field. The word ‘legend’ gets banded around quite freely but it is one that is rightly attributed in this case. Even the Queen recognised his outstanding work and gave him a knighthood, arise Sir David.
Wrapped between delightful paw-print endpapers is a highly engaging and accessible story told in short and simple sentences accompanied by bright and bold artwork. Attenborough’s passion for nature and animals leaps from every page. Mikyo Noh’s gorgeous illustrations have David constantly surrounded by animals and with a beaming smile on his face, from his early years to the present day it is very clear that he has always been at one with nature. At the back of the book there is a short overview of his life so far which includes key facts and dates and a historical timeline featuring photographs.
Recommended for 5+