Tuesday, 2 June 2015

I'll have my books with pictures, thanks - the anatomy of things you didn't know you needed to know

One of the great joys of working in a library is getting to see all the new books come in for people, which lets me get my name on the hold list early (as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, That New Book Smell). One that passed through my hands was this charming little book by Julia Rothman, called Nature Anatomy. Full of simple but lovely illustrations, Nature Anatomy is little fountain of knowledge, for the readers who want to know a little bit about the world around them, but not the entire periodic table. Of course, it had a few holds on it already, but I patiently waited until I could get my own hold into my grubby paws.

Rothman takes us on a journey through the limited green spaces she wanders in NYC and shows us the tiny details of nature that are usually so easy to ignore - like the differences between a brook and a stream, what happens in the water cycle, how to tell when a storm is coming, what the different edges on leaves are called and why, or which bees are the ones you have to look out for! With adorable but recognisable illustrations and sketches, Rothman pairs design and science together to make this book a memorable read.

It was a quick read, but that was okay because it turns out she had written one previously, Farm Anatomy. Similar in style, this one is more about the different machinery farmers use, what actually happens on a farm and different facts about the animals and plantations (as well as info on soils and growing etc). She's also written a few others, which I have yet to read, as well as some collaborative books (one which I have read, where artists partake in an arty Exquisite Corpse, and others that focus on science and historical figures).

I love arty, sketchy, doodley, comic-key books, and Rothman's books were no exception. Definitely must reads if you feel like you learn best when there's lots of pictures involved (like me!).

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