Animalium by Jenny Broom and Katie Scott

Ambitiously pitched as a natural history museum in a book, Animalium astutely focuses on the kingdom Animalia, offering an upclose look at more than 200 specimens that are neatly organised into six sections or ‘galleries’ — namely, invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals — which makes the hefty tome surprisingly easy to navigate.

  
This is also a stylish, flawlessly designed book that you will want to put on display: from the cover to the fonts, the endpapers, the section dividers, the paper quality and even the extra-large size — all the better to gawk at the jaw-droppingly bold, beautiful, detailed and lifelike illustrations by Katie Scott that are inspired by the classic Biology-textbook illustrations, but taken to the next level — every detail has been well thought through and spot-on in execution.

  
Naturally, it’s impossible for any book to feature every single animal in existence, but like any well-curated museum, the variety and range of the exhibits on show here will hold anyone in thrall, and even little ones will find the gorgeous pages hard to resist. For older children, the succinct writeup on the exhibits in each gallery is a great way to get an overview of the incredible diversity of life.

And, the best part is, you can revisit this museum anytime.

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