One of my favorite books as a child was Book of Mammals from National Geographic, so my nostalgic side was especially happy to find this gem. It is “A visual celebration” which is always a good thing, because let’s be honest: we all love a picture book!

I should start by saying this is no ordinary book about animals.  The clue is hiding in the title: kingdom.  The first full half of this book is less about the animals themselves and more about the landscape and flora of Africa.  It’s like Coppard is setting the state before introducing the animals.  One thing I really appreciated was the full chapter dedicated to the various wildlife preserves in Africa.  So many animals are entirely dependent on nature reserves for survival, so it is important to recognize the efforts made to help them thrive and to prevent extinction.

I have to admit, I was expecting a sort of alphabetical catalog; but the animal section is actually split up into ungulates, elephants, carnivores, primates, reptiles and birds. The only real criticism I would give to this book is that not all of the species mentioned were represented in the photos, but I have to credit the photographers for a job well done nonetheless.

I’m proud to say that I can now tell the difference at sight between and black rhinoceros and white rhinoceros.

Rating = 4

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