Wild Places: The Life of Naturalist David Attenborough

Putnam. Feb. 2024. 48p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780593618097.
Gr 1-3–The Roccos (How To Send A Hug) present a light but sterling biographical account of Sir David Attenborough, a British naturalist, pioneering television host into the natural world, and conservationist. Realistic art—a combination of pencil, watercolor, and digital paint—is rich, textural, and full of movement. When Attenborough was born, for example, “more than two-thirds of our planet was covered in wild places.” The spread is two-thirds full of a lush tropical jungle, with Attenborough’s family in the remaining third, smoke pluming from factories. This is a biographical sketch of Attenborough’s passion for wild places, beginning with his explorations close to his home as a boy and following him to university and BBC Broadcasting. As he floods people’s homes, bringing the wild inside, he notices how the natural world shrinks and his voice in conservationism begins. Scenes on double page spreads, with lush greenery and thriving wildlife, contrast starkly with the spaces struck bare by humans via pollution, overfishing, and logging. Interspersed quotes from the film David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet lends authenticity. An author’s note and a selected bibliography provides further information on Attenborough’s life. Additional back matter includes information on conservation and current concerns and solutions.
VERDICT A must-purchase for libraries; children will delight in learning about the “voice of nature.”

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