Saturday, August 28, 2021

The Secret Life of an Arable Field: Plants, Animals and the Ecosystem


The Secret Life of an Arable Field is an interesting nonfiction look at the hidden inter-dependencies of a cultivated field written by Sophie McCallum. Due out 30th Nov 2021 from Pen & Sword on their White Owl imprint, it's 256 pages and will be available in hardcover and ebook formats. 

Presented as a primer with bestiary and herbal entries arranged alphabetically by common name, they include animals, plants, fungi, insects, molluscs and other invertebrates. Each entry includes the common name, taxonomic nomenclature, physical and behavioural descriptions and interesting facts. The entries range from adder to yellowhammer. 

The photography is amazing - detailed and in full colour. Not all the included entries contain photos, but most of them do. The book details a hypothetical field in the UK, so the species are indigenous to that area (some species have more widespread ranges and those are specified in the text). 

This would be a good choice for public or school library or home use. Although it will certainly be interesting for younger readers, the text is not simplified, and will provide an engaging read for adults as well as middle grade and older. 

Four stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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