What a Shell Can Tell

Do you have a budding naturalist in your house, just waiting for the chance to hit the seashore? Then don’t dare to leave without this super piece of natural history in book form. Written by renowned oceanographer Helen Scales and illustrated by Sonia Pulido, this non-fiction exploration of what shells are and how they give up their little secrets is visually concise and appealing as well as being very readable.

Neither the text nor illustrations become too overwhelming at any point and they complement each other very well. Although aimed at ages 6–9, this book could easily engage those younger than the recommended reading age if read to them.

The book is full of interesting snippets of information that will challenge and spark the imaginations of younger readers. While we all know that you can find very cool shells on the beach, maybe we’re a bit out of the loop on the incredible shell life that’s in our gardens, on our mountains, in our forests and out in the deepest of oceans. All of these habitats are explored and described in a very accessible way, helped along by the crisp, and vaguely vintage, imagery of Sonia Pulido’s artwork.

What a Shell Can Tell is a super addition to a home or school library, with its inviting interweaving of fact, imaginative approach to the world of shells and gorgeous illustrations. It’s also very impressively produced by Phaidon. I would be very happy to recommend this for curious children and curious adults!

Book Cover - What a Shell Can Tell
Publication Date
June 2022