In a coffee-table-ready companion to Animalium and Historium, readers make their way through seven “galleries” devoted to “the first plants,” trees, herbaceous plants, and other categories of flora, which are further subdivided; a spread devoted to “belowground edible plants” features cutaway images of a winged yam, beet, carrot, and other roots, assembled as if ready for a recipe. Scott’s exquisitely detailed illustrations call to mind antique botanical prints, and Willis, director of science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, identifies each plant and provides vivid descriptions: “Orchids are the actors of the plant world, and the weird and varied shapes of the flowers reflect many highly specialized pollination systems.” Visually stunning, it’s an engrossing overview of Earth’s remarkable and diverse plant life that provides opportunities for ongoing discovery on every page. Ages 8–12.
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