Animal Crackers

Are you crazy about cats? Fascinated by frogs? Maybe you’re obsessed with ostriches – whatever your animal of interest is, you’ve found the right place with this collaboration from animal lovers Sarah Webb and Alan Nolan. Covering a frankly breath-taking amount of information about animals from just about everywhere in the world, the duo take readers on a whirlwind tour of the history, geography and biology of animals of all kinds. The text is divided into digestible chapters which would entice a casual reader to dip in-and-out, but also enough narrative flow in its journey through the world of animals to satisfy any budding zoologist’s thirst for knowledge.

Opening with a relatable chapter about favourite animals, Webb and Nolan cleverly work to get readers on side and feeling comfortable before expanding out into chapters on evolution, habitats and conservation. The tone is light and informative and shows the author’s skill at non-fiction writing, using a friendly yet authoritative voice which lets young readers know they’re in safe hands. Alongside this wealth of knowledge are drawing tips, games and jokes that are deftly illustrated in Nolan’s signature style. There’s plenty of cartoons and visual gags, but animals are also rendered in a realistic style where necessary so that the humour and information sit comfortably side-by-side. What’s most evident is that these two really do love animals as much as their intended readers, so the whole thing works as a joyful and enlightening read that kids of all ages will surely enjoy.