With its bright, magaziney cover and promise of fun, factual content, Scotland’s Animal Superstars has the feel of offering something fresh – and it was grabbed enthusiastically by our nearly seven-year-old the moment she spotted it.
This collection of true-life tales about amazing Scottish animals is an accessible and enjoyable read, packed with photos and at-a-glance information, and it’s full of little gems of knowledge that young readers will relish sharing with their friends.
It includes the life stories of celebrities, from Hercules the Hollywood bear, to Sir Nilsolav, Edinburgh Zoo’s Penguin Brigadeer, alongside the less well-known, but more long-lived Torty, the Drum Castle tortoise, who lived to be 149.
Our favourite stories were the oldest ones, particularly the tale of Wopsie, the tabby kitten who was mascot on the first airship to cross the Atlantic, and Winkie, a pigeon whose 120 mile journey during World War II led to the rescue of four men from the icy North Sea.
It is a testament to the depth of Kimberlie Hamilton’s research, that each catchily-titled story is so much more than an anecdote, giving a sense of geography, history and the character of the animal it features. This is a must for young animal-lovers, and the dramatic events and familiar characters featured will also give it a much wider appeal.
Scotland’s Animal Superstars: True Stories about Braw Birds and Beasties, by Kimberlie Hamilton (Cranachan)
- Because we received a review copy of this book, we have made a donation to Mary’s Meals, so a hungry child will receive a meal a day in school for six months. Read here to find out how this works.