Born to be wild;Children's books

19th March 1999 at 00:00
Natural history and wildlife books for younger children increasingly come in story form. The popularity of biography demonstrates that it's much easier to remember the facts of a person's life if you can empathise with them, and this also happens with animals and even plants, as in Eric Carle's wonderful The Tiny Seed (Picture Puffin, pound;4.99).

The Born Free Foundation wildlife books (TemplarRagged Bears, pound;4.99 each) have immediate appeal. They are true stories presented as narratives of animals' feelings, including Journey to Freedom - about a lion bought in Harrods and introduced back into the African bush - and The Elephant Truck.

Children have few problems identifying with large, impressive mammals such as elephants, lions and dolphins. The greater challenge, and just as crucial for conservation, is to win public sympathy for less romantic creatures.

Karen Wallace and Mike Bostock, who did a wonderful public relations job on the eel with Think of an Eel (a 1993 title from Walker which won both The TES Junior Information Book Award and the Kurt Maschler Award) have turned their attention to the giant octopus. Gentle Giant Octopus (Walker, pound;9.99), pictured left, transforms the creature's reputation from gruesome to awesome, through inventive, magical illustration and lyrical narrative, helping the reader to take in an impressive range of facts without effort.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today