Mar 24, 2014

The Smithsonian Book of Natural History

My husband and I discovered the DK Smithsonian Natural History Book completely by accident. We were browsing in Chapters and someone had left a copy atop a display of biographies. It caught Jeff's eye and I returned alone a couple of weeks later and bought him a copy for Christmas. First of all the 'tech specs'. The beautiful hardcover is 235 x 159mm, 648 pages, a full 7 lbs in weight and is described as : "A landmark in reference publishing and overseen and authenticated by the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, Natural History presents an unrivaled visual survey of Earth's natural history. Giving a clear
overview of the classification of our natural world-over 6,000 species-Natural History looks at every kingdom of life, from bacteria, minerals, and rocks to fossils to plants and animals. Featuring a remarkable array of specially commissioned photographs, Natural History looks at thousands of specimens and species displayed in visual galleries that take the reader on an incredible journey from the most fundamental building blocks of the world's landscapes, through the simplest of life forms, to plants, fungi, and animals." 61qtLfNKUTL The description does not, however, do it justice. The photographs in this book are nothing less than exquisite. They are accompanied by clear, easy to understand text and make looking through this volume a wonderful experience. 61z9clpgZPL The book is made up of six chapters. In the first, “Living Earth,” is made up of illustrated introductory essays on topics such as climate change, evolution, and classification provide context for the rest of the book. This is followed by chapters on “Minerals, Rocks, and Fossils”; “Microscopic Life”; “Plants”; “Fungi”; and “Animals,” offering picture galleries that profile about 5,000 specimens and living species ranging from topaz to oyster mushroom to sperm whale. Each chapter is divided into sections representing major groups (for example, “Invertebrates”) with an introduction highlighting the characteristics that define the group. Each subgroup (“Sponges,” “Insects”) also has its own introduction. For living species, “Classification” boxes display the current taxonomic hierarchy. Picture captions provide information such as size, habitat, and distribution. Topics of debate are interspersed in sidebars throughout the text; for example, “Did monocots have aquatic origins?” and “Are birds dinosaurs?”
I thought I would give you a quick update on this wonderful book. It is currently available directly from Dorling Kindersley for 30% off - making it only $38.50 instead of the regular $55. If you are still undecided you can watch the beautiful book trailer here. And before you ask - no I don't get a commission! I just want to share great books with great readers!!
61437T34cgL We have spent many hours with this book, curled up on the sofa with the kids, and every turn of the page brings exciting new discoveries. Just sitting looking through this book is an event in itself and I cannot recommend it highly enough. This is the perfect book to anchor your home reference library.Every bookshelf should have this volume on it. You can buy this book directly from Dorling Kindersley and at the time of writing it is available at 30% off. 61dptn+tMnL 61wHnzC5EmL

Disclosure: I received free the item(s) mentioned in this post in exchange for my honest review. Regardless ~ All my reviews are my honest and personal opinion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”.

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