Creature Close Up

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Creatures Close Up
Philippe Martin and Gillian Watts
Firefly Books
If you’re at all interested in natural history, or know children who are, then take a look at the stunning photographic images in this book. Philippe Martin, captures his subjects in pin sharp focus by taking multiple close-up shots which are slightly different and combining them into a single image using computer software. The results are truly amazing. Most of the creatures were photographed in the Madagascan rainforest and some in the south of France where Martin lives. You can see every minute detail of the insects,

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amphibians, reptiles, spiders, crustacea and mammals he has chosen as his subjects.
Every page evokes a sense of awe at the wonders of nature and nature as designer.

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Please Be Nice To Sharks
Matt Weiss and Daniel Botelho
Sterling
Over a dozen sharks introduce themselves in this photographic parade of one of the world’s threatened species; threatened partly because of their popularity as the chief ingredient of shark’s fin soup, a Chinese delicacy but they’re also hunted for sport. Their loss as a species would be disastrous for the food chain as a whole as they play a vital role in keeping the animal populations of the oceans in balance. From the largest Whale Shark to the Bamboo Shark, one of the smallest …

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each variety represented concludes its personal resume with the urgent plea: Please be nice to … sharks” and the final spread offers further information about what this means for we humans. One for the primary school topic box I suggest.

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Dinosaurs of the Upper Cretaceous
David West
Firefly Books
If you’re a child fascinated by dinosaurs – and that’s an awful lot of children – you probably can’t have too many books on the subject. This particular one is part of a series of six each of which covers a specific period, that together make up the Mesozoic Age. The twenty five dinosaurs included herein are from 89 to 65 million years back – the period known as the Upper Cretaceous and, after an introduction to the period, are arranged in alphabetical order. Among them are some of the most well known such as Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops but many of those featured are less familiar, certainly to me. I’d not heard, for instance, of the Deinocheirus whose name means ‘horrible hand’ and whose fossil remains have been discovered in Mongolia.

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Helpfully there is a shadow image of either a human (child or adult) or a cat alongside each of the computer-generated dinosaur images to gauge their relative sizes.
Interesting facts such as what each one ate, the meaning of its name, a description of specific features and where fossil remains have been found are provided. Addicts in the 6-11 age group will probably want to collect the whole set.

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