Nature’s Treasures by Ben Hoare, illustrated by Kaley McClean

I cannot thank Abi Walton enough for sending me a copy of the children’s book Nature’s Treasures by Ben Hoare in return for an honest review.

Nature’s Treasures is published by DK on 18th November and is available for pre-order through these links.

Nature’s Treasures

The world is filled with curious objects made by plants, animals, and even by the Earth itself. Dive into this collection of more than 100 intriguing items from the natural world and discover the stories behind them.

Learn how bristly mouths help huge whales capture tiny animals, how minute scales make butterflies shine in the sunlight, and how studying a leaf skeleton can tell us how it transports food. A bird egg, a lump of coal, a cacao pod, a mermaid’s purse, a fossil, a pine cone, an owl pellet, and a chrysalis – all tell a story. Arranged into four chapters: Animals; Plants, fungi, and algae; Minerals and rocks, and Made by nature, objects are shown with truly stunning photography and colourful illustrations to help explain the science behind them. The lively descriptions by best-selling nature writer Ben Hoare explore the remarkable tales of each item and all are packed with fascinating information.

Nature’s Treasures takes you on a tour of our planet through commonplace-but-incredible objects made by nature itself. This book is for every inquisitive child who loves to spot things when exploring outside and wants to know more about the wonderful and mysterious natural world.

My Review of Nature’s Treasures

A guide to the wonders of the natural world.

Wow. What a book. Nature’s Treasures is absolutely amazing.

Firstly I must comment on the physical production of Nature’s Treasures. As one would expect from a DK book, it is top quality with a beautifully foiled cover that is so solid and robust the book will endure years of handling and reading.  Add in the gold edges and Nature’s Treasures feels completely sumptuous. The orange endpapers are beautifully designed and the illustrations by Kaley McKean are glorious. As well as those illustrations, there are also stunning photographs throughout to exemplify the text. In addition, not only does the white space enhance the images, but it means that the writing is totally accessible to independent young readers, being brief whilst containing incredible information so that even the most reluctant young reader can access the text.

Nature’s Treasures is divided into sections covering animals, plants, fungi and algae, minerals and rocks, and items made by nature, with sensible advice for young nature spotters at the beginning and a useful glossary and index covering everything from aardvark to zinc at the back. Every section is packed with information. Indeed, whilst Nature’s Treasures would make a brilliant gift for individual children, it would also enhance any KS2 classroom because there are so many other references within its pages such as the etymology of fulgurite so that young minds can be inspired to learn more beyond the pages of the book.

There’s so much to discover within the pages of this book that I cannot praise Nature’s Treasures highly enough. It is fantastic and would make a wonderful gift. Buy it!

About Ben Hoare

Ben Hoare is an award-winning journalist and nature nerd. He loves writing about wildlife and how we can all help to protect the natural world. Ben’s books An Anthology of Intriguing Animals (2018) and Wonders of Nature (2019) are international bestsellers. The Guardian newspaper said: “His writing is funny, informative and zinging with infectious enthusiasm.”

Ben has written and edited natural-history books and magazines for DK, Pan Macmillan, the BBC, London’s Natural History Museum and many others.

He was Features Editor of BBC Wildlife Magazine from 2008 to 2018, and is now its Editorial Consultant.

In 2015 Ben was awarded the Dilys Breese Medal for science communication by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). He is one of only 18 people to hold the award.

For further information about Ben, visit his website, follow him on Twitter @benhoarewild and find Ben on Instagram.

About Kaley McKean

Kaley McKean is an illustrator based in Toronto. She received her BDes in Illustration from OCAD U in 2012, and since then has been working in the realms of editorial illustration, children’s publishing, and product design.

Her work features bright, minimal colour palettes and hand-made textures. She is inspired by medieval bestiaries, folklore, and the natural world. She will happily draw you any animal.

Kaley lives in Toronto’s west end with her husband.

You can follow Kaley on Twitter @KaleyMcKean and visit her website for more information. You’ll also find Kaley on Instagram.

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