Title: Wild Australian Life
Author: Leonard Cronin
Illustrator: Chris Nixon
Published: April 2022
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Readership: Children’s Non-Fiction
I received a copy of Wild Australian Life from the publishers for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
A stunning exploration of Australian animals from the creator of the bestselling Australian Animal Atlas.
More than one million animal species make their homes in Australia – from the deepest oceans to the tops of mountains and the harshest deserts. But just how do they survive? Discover the remarkable stories behind some of the world’s most extraordinary animals in this must-have collection for every Australian family.
My first thought when I saw Wild Australian Life in person for the first time was… Wow. Just wow.
This book is not only a fact-filled non-fiction delight of a text, but also a very visually appealing one, too, There’s a trend in children’s non-fiction for the use, it seems, of illustrations (over photos) and in this book it really enhances to look of the text and – in my opinion – makes the sets of information stand out more and more easily accessible.
It’s very text heavy and covers a LOT of information about Australia’s animals, so if you’re looking for an information text for children to access independently, this one probably skews a little more towards older readers, but if it’s something you’re sharing then it would appeal to younger animal lovers, too. It’s also not necessarily a text you’d sit down and read from cover to cover – there’s a lot in here and I read sections over days. There’s plenty of interesting topics, from how we classify living things, to the deadly/dangerous/poisonous members of Australian’s animal families and much, much more.
The way information is organised on each page is very clear – short paragraphs to explain an idea, large illustrations to draw the eye and support the text, lots of labelled diagrams and curious facts can be found on the pages. And the illustrations have a beautiful collage/cut-out quality to them (which, for the teacher in me, has already sparked ideas of learning about animals and re-creating them using collage in the classroom!).
If you’re looking for an informational picture book on Australian animals for the children in your life, this is definitely one to consider. It would make a beautiful, rich addition to any collection.