MANY reasons to love “Many, The Diversity of Life on Earth”

Many: the Diversity of Life on Earth, written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Emily Sutton is full of many wonderful things.

I am obsessed with Emily Sutton’s illustrations. They carry me back to my beloved Golden Books with their gentle palettes and decorative layouts. A combo of Mary Blair and Garth Williams, but with a uniqueness and character that is all Emily Sutton’s.

The lyrical text speaks of all the many wonderful creatures on our earth. Big and small and all part of an important pattern. In italics on each page are more detailed, scientific factoids that tell us interesting trivia about the flora or fauna mentioned. I have to admit, I found this a little hard to read all at once. But I was happy and interested to have it there. I enjoyed reading the narrative of the book through, and then going back and delving into the detailed illustrations and interesting information.

One of my favorite things about this book is the intelligent pairing of the author and illustrator. They collaborated before on the award-winning Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes. The way Emily Sutton’s detailed and almost ‘wallpaper-like’ layouts reflect the theme of ‘pattern’ which is at the heart of Nicola Davies’ main point of her story, makes this book highly successful.

The ending is a plea to young readers to protect our whole earth, and in effect, all the creatures and plants that live here. We are told about the animals that were not protected and are no longer with us. There need to be many, not just one.

Also, the book’s big size and heavy, heavy paper… gorgeous, classic, and special! Many times over!




Many Thanks!
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Jennifer Black Reinhardt

Jennifer is the illustrator and author of several acclaimed picture books. Most recently is Always by My Side, 'A Stuffie Story', which she wrote and illustrated. She also is both the author and illustrator of Playing Possum, and Blue Ethel. Jennifer illustrated Gondra’s Treasure, written by Newbery award winner Linda Sue Park. As well as, Sometimes You Fly, by Newbery medalist, Katherine Applegate. She illustrated Yaks Yak, Animal Word Pairs by Linda Sue Park, The Inventor's Secret, What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford, by Suzanne Slade, Rabbi Benjamin's Buttons, by Alice B. McGinty, and The Adventures of a South Pole Pig, by Chris Kurtz.


  1. Cana’t wait to read this one. I”m working on a book with factoids in sidebars and am curious how it works in this book. The illustrations look rich.

    • Hi Sue, it’s a beautiful book and I hope you enjoy it! Perhaps I’ll do a post on sidebars sometime and look at the way various authors and illustrators handle them? It’s a tough task to have basically two stories going on at the same time on a page. Good luck and happy writing!

  2. Jennifer, thank you for bringing this book to our attention. I, too, love the quiet palette and gentle faces! (I grew up on Little Golden Books!)

  3. MANY looks to be a true treasure – for homes & classrooms.

  4. This book looks gorgeous! And such an important message. Can’t wait to see it in person.

  5. Yes! I love the illustrations. Wonderful!!

  6. This book is perfect for me . . . and elementary school teachers!

  7. The illustrations are beautiful. I’ll be on the lookout for this one!

  8. It does look gorgeous! Thanks for sharing with us!

  9. This book will be added to my Little Free Library Walnut shelf for others to enjoy! Breathtaking illustrations!

  10. I love Nicola Davies’ books. Her companion book about microbes is just as gorgeous and how I wish I’d written it (former microbiologist here). Happy sigh!

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