Best books about animals to buy in 2019

Nina Simone: The Apostrophe Child Illustration by Diana Lehmann. Photograph: DACS A year, 12 siblings, four families and endless politics! What a struggle they must have been to survive under the stresses of American…

Best books about animals to buy in 2019

Nina Simone: The Apostrophe Child Illustration by Diana Lehmann. Photograph: DACS

A year, 12 siblings, four families and endless politics! What a struggle they must have been to survive under the stresses of American life. Diana Lehmann provides an evocative portrait of this family history in the sequel to Sonic Sensations. An anthology of black American poet and songwriter Nina Simone, the poems alternate between linear verse and short prose pieces from Nina. Her family’s lives were a constant resistance to white supremacy, racism and sexism. These poems perfectly capture Nina’s memories of growing up in the segregated American south, her hopes for future generations, her commitment to social justice, and her frustration at inequality. Marie Gustave Turner’s illustrations are full of impressionistic energy and vibrate to the soulful music of Nina Simone.

U.S. Naturalist Kids: Playback Fish and I Guess You Ever Weren’t a Remora Photograph: Niko Vaccaro

7) U.S. Naturalist Kids: Playback Fish and I Guess You Ever Were a Remora

Evan J Scott. Photograph: DACS

In a collection of nine short essays, Evan J Scott recounts a young boy’s relationship with the aquarium and the mysterious marine creatures on display. These creepy-crawly phrases from a shamed mother belong to a child who spends hours with strange fish and reptiles. This is a modern-day exploration of the science behind our environment through a quiet child’s keen appreciation of the chemistry of water and the beautiful things living within.

Rivers Rose: My Secret Garden Where Anything Is Possible Illustration by Mariko Ando. Photograph: DACS

8) Rivers Rose: My Secret Garden Where Anything Is Possible

Simon Alpern and Nicolas Hatton. Photograph: DACS

In another great title in this anthology, this is the story of the Sierra Club’s first public relations director, who was stricken with a fatal illness that threatened to erase all traces of her very existence. No matter how deep the reach of the disease, as long as she was alive she continued to believe her way was the right way. This is a heartbreaking, yet memorable story about faith, courage and hope and a deeply admirable person.

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