Monday, October 25, 2021

Book Review: Photo Ark Wonders

I am so incredibly behind in life, so expect a ridiculous life catch up over the course of this week. Between being a mom, going on a friend date, going on a husband date, trying get ahead on Christmas shopping, revamping finances, doing PTO stuff for school, and just every other thing I've got going on? I am so overwhelemed. I no longer multi-task well anymore, so then I start panicking, which makes me forget even more, and then things like today happen where I literally burst into tears for no reason and scream into a pillow.  

So things are going well. 

Photo Ark Wonders - National Geographic

A glorious new volume of Sartore’s signature animal portraits, this time highlighting the fascinating shapes, patterns, and expressions of animals both familiar and little known.

Joel Sartore, on a mission to photograph all the animal species in human care, now delights us with more photographs, this time selected to represent the amazing diversity of the world’s animals.
The book’s four chapters -- Pattern, Shape, Extra, and Personality -- invite us to revel in these photographs, many cleverly paired into amusing and often surprising comparisons, like the catfish and the mouse with the same stripes down their backs, the tarantula and the poison dart frog both cobalt blue, or the tiny lizard and the weighty ox both sporting pointed horns.

Each photograph gets its own page or two-page spread.

Scientifically accurate captions highlight distinctive features.

Throughout, Sartore recalls telling moments from his photographic adventures.

With all new image selections, this book expands the best-selling Photo Ark series, sure to be a hit with those who already treasure National Geographic Photo Ark, Birds of the Photo Ark, and Photo Ark Vanishing.

Animal lovers young and old will get lost in the pages of this book, delighted by the spectacular diversity among these creatures and the wit of the photographer chronicling them.
If you have never picked up a National Geographic book by Joel Sartore, you are behind the eight ball, my friend. The photos he presents are so incredibly stunning that they don't even look real. Penelope and Lucy spent so much time over the last few weeks paging through this book with me just talking about animals and things we thought were interested. It is incredible to see some of the intricate detailing on the bodies of various creatures, it's hard to believe these are things out in the wild. 

One of our favorite things to do is go to zoos and aquariums as a family, and we like to see animals and creatures we wouldn't otherwise see in our environment. While that's an incredible thing to do, you still don't always get the intense close up to really pick out the vivid details that make this animal stand apart from others. Things like a Cobalt Blue Tarantula or a Dyeing Poison Frog aren't something we've ever seen and likely never would on our own, but on pages 206 and 207 we see the beautiful coloring of both but also characteristics of each that kids wouldn't know about. The photos are so amazing, we could see what look like teeth on the tarantula and the distinct hairs that make it look fuzzy from afar. Lucy really liked looking at any kind of bird because she doesn't understand why some birds have spots and others don't, or why birds don't have the same kind of feet. Penelope is all about bugs and lizards and wants to know why some lizards look bumpy but don't feel bumpy. We also spent a lot of time looking at the various mice on pages 340 and 341 and comparing them, how are they the same or different? Which one was the cutest? 

The book is broken up into four distinct chapters: Shape, Pattern, Extra, and Attitude, which are all ways to classify the animals. Penelope really liked the bonus chapter on how the photos are made (she wants to know how you get a monkey to stay still). 

If you are looking for some unique holiday gifts this year, I highly suggest anything Joel Sartore does- any animal lover is going to pour over these books for endless hours. Everytime you go through them you learn something new, and it inspires you to step up and do more for this planet. Having these up close and intimate photos of Earth's creatures is not only awe-inspiring, but it invokes this urgency to save them. 

I am so grateful to be on this tour for TLC Book Tours, National Geographic books are some of my absolute favorite. I always feel like an excited kid in the school library going page by page. 
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Divya @ EatTeachBlog said...

I was just telling my husband that the other day! We went to the zoo and my kid loved seeing the animal, but there's something different when you can see all the details up close.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I'm a huge fan of random facts, so I love books like these! It sounds like Pep and Lu really got a lot out of this one, so that's fantastic!

Lauren @

Meg said...

Always love NatGeo photos, what a cool idea for a book.