H has always been interested in nature and animals in particular. He’s a boy who knows all sorts of facts about animals, whether they are the biggest, most dangerous or fastest. So the Book of Bones by Gabrielle Balkan from Phaidon is just his sort of book. As you’d expect from Phaidon the illustrations are first class and they really caught my eye.
In this book you can discover which animal has the biggest bone, the lightest or even the spikiest, so it’s record breakers of the animal kingdom from a bone perspective. I really like this approach as it is different from many of the other animal non-fiction books that we have and it brings in new facts and information for my little, fact-seeking sponge to soak up. One thing I liked about it is the question and answer approach. One double page with the skeleton with the bone in question highlighted on one side and facts about it on the other. Turn the page and the animal is revealed with more information about the creature concerned. The skeleton pages are black and white, but the animal pages are brightly coloured and each page features lovely drawings with their own distinctive style.
There are 10 animals featured in the book and they are all record breakers. H loves record-breaking information and I often get educated about record-breakers on the way to school, so this appeals to him very well. There’s also a section about human bones and comparing them to other animals. I think I’d have liked a bit more information about this – it’s only one double page spread long – but. that’s really the only suggestion I’d make for improvement. This is a good-looking hardback book and I think it would make a lovely gift. The age range given by the publisher is 5-8, but H likes it and he’s 10, so I think it has a longer appeal. The book is published on 18 September.