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The Big Book of Belonging

Book Synopsis

The Big Book of Belonging is for all the children who like to climb trees, run barefoot, splash in paddles, search for bugs, sing with the birds, taste snowflakes and count the stars. By placing children at the heart of the natural world, the book celebrates our connection with planet Earth and reveals the often surprising similarities between humans, animals and plants.

Illustrated in Yuval Zommer’s inimitable style and packed with quirky natural history facts, readers will discover that sea otters hold hands just like humans do; hermit crabs have homes; and that butterflies also have bedtimes. They’ll learn that just as humans have unique fingerprints, zebras have different stripes, cowrie shells have distinct spots and that no two snowflakes are identical.

The book’s uplifting message will inspire environmentalists young and old alike – we all belong to nature, and nature belongs to us all.

Our Review Panel says...

Fans of Yuval Zommer’s Big Book series may have been guessing which alliterative topic was next to come after poring over the previous Big Book of the Blue, The Big Book of Birds, the Big Book of Bugs and the Big Book of Beasts. I wonder how many – if any – correctly landed on ‘Belonging’ as the theme of the latest large-format hardback in this much-loved collection. The Big Book of Belonging aims to unite young readers from around the globe under one banner – of belonging to planet Earth. In his foreword, the author says, “The Big Book of Belonging is my way of celebrating the wondrous connections between us humans and the natural world. From the air that we breathe, the food we eat, the adventures we seek, to the joy we experience, you will find a connection to nature in every single part of our being. And the more we can reconnect with nature, the more we can reconnect with ourselves.” Illustrated in full colour in Yuval Zommer’s iconic style, the book is packed with natural history facts that draw out just how much a part of the natural world humans are. Readers may be surprised to discover that sea otters hold hands just like humans do, or that scientists believe that listening to bird song can boost the hormones in our bodies that help us to concentrate and focus better, and that butterflies also have bedtimes. They’ll learn that just as humans have unique fingerprints, zebras have different stripes, cowrie shells have distinct spots and that no two snowflakes are identical. As well as a host of interesting facts, readers will come across a range of familiar knowledge too – like how leaves fall from trees in Autumn or how frogs start life as frogspawn. Each page of facts is presented as part of a connection between humans and nature – the leaves fall off trees just as human hair falls out when we brush it or male fallow deer shed and regrow their antlers every year. The book’s uplifting tone, super-short snippets of facts and full colour illustrations make it suitable for younger children looking to collect information without becoming overhwhelmed as well as for older children looking to dive into the connections between the facts they know. This is a lovely book for sharing and discussing, making it a highly suitable choice for primary classrooms.

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