Reviewed by Henricus Peters

The Natural History Museum – that cathedral to the natural world and its multiple wonders – has done it again, with this quirky collection of weird factual stories. It will come as no surprise that the team of experts at NHM London has come forth with this sound volume to answer some of the many, many questions that people – especially young thinkers – might and do ask. Cleverly, the book is also published by CSIRO in Australia, thereby providing readers in the Southern Hemisphere easier access. 

Why do rabbits eat their poo? 
Why aren’t some eggs “egg-shaped”? 
Are doves and pigeons the same? 

While this is very much a ‘science volume’ , the style is very non-fussy and direct: ‘poo’, for example, is used instead of faeces. It reads like an adventure which, arguably, the natural world is – sometimes with strange or even deadly effects. 

The clearly informative text is assisted by great images. The chosen format of bold colours and boxed texts – although I admit I would have preferred more subtle shades – is obviously aimed at a modern, younger readership. 

This brilliant volume ‘does what it says on the tin’. No young person, or science lover of any age, should ideally be far from this great little science book. 

Warren, S. (2023). Do penguins’ feet freeze? Wild answers to wacky questions from nature. Natural History Museum, London / CSIRO Publishing (New Zealand & Australia). ISBN: 9781486317820.

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