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A First Book of Animals


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Product Details

About the Author

Nicola Davies is an award-winning author, whose many books for children include A First Book of Nature, Tiny, The Promise, Ice Bear, Big Blue Whale, Dolphin Baby, Just Ducks, Poo and the Heroes of the Wild series. She graduated in zoology, studied whales and bats and then worked for the BBC Natural History Unit. Nicola lives in Abergavenny, Wales. Visit Nicola at, or follow her on Twitter under the handle @nicolakidsbooks.

Petr Horacek trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague before becoming a graphic designer, painter and author-illustrator. His titles Strawberries Are Red and What Is Black and White? won the Books for Children Newcomer Award in 2002. Born in Czechoslovakia, Petr now lives in Worcester with his wife and two daughters. Visit Petr at, or follow him on Twitter under the handle @PHoracek.


This time Davies teams up with Petr Horacek to introduce a dazzling celebration of the wonders of life on our planet. It's a book that defies categorization: part poetry, part picture book, part non-fiction. I love the inspirational approach, using a lyrical but accessible text to explore facts that will fascinate readers. * The Bookseller *
Davies is one of our very finest natural history writers for children. A First Book of Nature, illustrated by Mark Hearld, was an international bestseller and it's a book I have given as a gift numerous times. This is the second titie in the First Book series - and i's just as dazzling and accessible. An epic exploration of animal life on our planet, over 50 different creatures are revealed, from monkeys as small as teacups, to majestic blue whales, and fireflies twinkling in the evening sky. They are grouped not by genus or region, but in inventive chapters such as Colours and Shape, and Animals in Action. The tone is inquisitive, very much encouraging readers to think for themselves. It's a book that defies categorisation: it's a non-fiction book, a picture book, a volume of poetry. A book to dip into, to read aloud, a book to enrich children's research of topics. Horacek's pictures of the animals and their habitats are lush and on a grand scale, creating a sense of life bursting from the pages. A book for every school, library and home. * The Bookseller *
Nicola Davies A FIRST BOOK OF ANIMALS is the companion title to the wonderful A FIRST BOOK OF NATURE, this time illustrated by Petr Horacek. A lyrical, inspirational text is paired with dazzling pictures of animal life around the planet, from blue whales to bumblebees. * The Bookseller *
A First Book of Animals, written by Nicola Davies, who is a scientific expert and writes with passion and knowledge and in this case in poetry about facts, and the book is illustrated with brio by picture book star, Petr Horacek. * The Sunday Times *
From blue whales to bumblebee bats and everything in between, A First Book of Animals takes young children all over the planet to visit all kinds of different creatures. * Words for Life *
Animals are a favourite subject with children from an early age, so it's lovely that this nature book is aimed at younger emerging readers and an ideal book for reading aloud to little ones. The vibrant illustrations are works of art in their own right, and the visual style and the poetic text are pitched just at the right level to interest pre-schoolers and Key Stage 1 children. * Booktrust *
A celebration of the amazing an enormous variety in the animal kingdom. This sumptuous volume brings to life its true wonders through the lyrical text of Nicola Davies and atmospheric illustrations of Petr Horacek. From the whale shark to the tiny hummingbird, the speeding cheetah to the languorous sloth this is an absolute delight for little animal lovers. A book to treasure and inspire a new generation to hopefully protect and conserve these amazing creatures. * South Wales Evening Post *
This follows the author's wonderful A First Book of Nature, and makes the perfect companion. Wonderfully lyrical text about the animal world is illustrated in outstanding detail by Petr Horacek. Showcasing the marvellous variety of animal life, the book gives us an insight into animals everywhere including polar bears playing on the ice, tigers hunting in the jungle, fireflies twinkling in the evening sky and nightingales singing in the heart of the woods. The perceptive words give us a new slant on the animal world, and this is far from being just a book for children - adults too will appreciate the engaging text and the beauty of the illustrations. The artwork completely fills every page and the vibrancy and liveliness are a real joy. This book is a glorious celebration of life in the wild in all its variety and splendour, and belongs on every family's bookshelf. It really heightens our appreciation of nature and it will make a perfect gift. * Parents In Touch *
Children will love this wonderful poetry book. The author offers the reader a perceptive and quirky introduction to a variety of animals, whilst Horacek's sumptuous illustrations overwhelm with their use of rich colour and texture. * Bookseller *
Winning combination of pictures, facts and poems for animal-loving children of all ages. * Reader's Digest *
Get up close to animals of every colour, shape and form in a gorgeous, lyrical picture book that brings nature to life as you have never before seen it. [...] Davies has created a spellbinding treasury of beautifully crafted poems about the animal world, each complemented in breathtaking detail by Horacek. [...] A First Book of Animals takes you across the planet to visit all kinds of different creatures, displaying life in the wild in all its dazzling variety and splendour, from giant blue whales to tiny bumblebee bats and everything in between. With poems that inform and inspire, and illustrations that glory in the magic and diversity of the natural world, this is a big, beautiful gift book that belongs in every child's home. * Lancashire Evening Post *
[...] a perfect way of introducing children to the animal world. * Newbury Weekly News *
Its poetic text and ravishing illustrations by Petr Horacek encourage children to understand animals as sentient beings - dreamy, hungry competitive and wonderful. * New Statesman *
"Children will love this wonderful poetry book. The author offers the reader a perceptive and quirky introduction to a variety of animals, while Horacek's sumptuous illustrations overwhelm with their use of rich colour and texture." * The Bookseller *
"This beautiful book introduces young children to a wide selection of wild animals, grouping them according to shape, colour, size, homes and babies. Wildlife expert Davies's text sometimes in rhyme, is packed with fascinating facts and the paintings by award-winning artist Horacek are mini-masterpieces. A book to treasure for years." * Daily Mail and Irish Daily Mail *
"I may have wanted A First Book of Animals because of Petr Horacek's illustrations, but I will be looking out for other books from Nicola Davies, because her writing is beautiful. [...] this is one that will stay on our bookshelf for a long time to come." * *
"An exquisitely written and illustrated book [...] This is a magical book - quite extraordinary in its lyrical language - and although non-fiction, it reads like a fantastical story of animals lives. Nicola Davies has a gist for creating original descriptions in both prose and poetry, which allow the reader to draw perfect visual pictures in their minds, whilst at the same time informing and educating with the idiosyncrasies of each creature's habits and habitat. I was enthralled, and confess to learning a huge number of facts which had me gripped and page turning. The illustrations by Petr Horacek are equally magical. The colour palette vibrant and exciting. The drawings are skilfully detailed enough without being too technical. [...] it is exciting, engaging and different." * The School Librarian *

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