By Nicola Davies and illustrated by Emily Sutton (Walker Books)
Lots is a beautifully illustrated introduction to the concept of biodiversity for younger readers. This is one of those special non-fiction books that tell a story of nature so beautiful that children will pore over it again and again. Toddlers will be attracted to the illustrations, slightly older ones will learn fascinating facts and parents will be happy to read this book with its message that we need to take better care of our planet and its natural life.
In addition to the content, this is a gorgeously presented book. The cover is simply beautiful and every single page is a celebration of details and colours as the author and illustrator take us on a journey around the world. On the first page we meet a small girl who stands next to an insect and then a flower as she counts the living things. As we turn the pages we discover that there are LOTS of living things of many different types. Think of her as a mini David Attenborough as she explores deserts, islands, jungles and oceans making notes of what she discovers on the way. The language used is simple and accessible yet captures a surprising number of ideas that will make readers look at the world around them with new eyes.
Life cycles are presented in a simple way and there is an emphasis on the interconnection of the many diverse living things included in the book. There is a very important message about man’s destruction of natural habitats which is particularly pertinent right now. The contrast between the double paged spread of the jungle crammed with wildlife and the little girl alone on her page is very thought-provoking. If you love Lots, check out Tiny: The Invisible World of Microbes from the same team. (The book is also called Many in some countries.)
A wonderful gift book for children aged 3-9.