Zoology: Inside The Secret World Of Animals is the latest in a long line of exquisite books born from the partnership of Dorling Kindersley and The Smithsonian. And as you might expect from the offspring of the world’s premier non-fiction publisher and the planets go-to depository of knowledge, Zoology is both beautiful and enlightening. 

Instead of going the easy option of an A to Z, or a zoological format the publishers chose instead to take a more functional approach with the layout of the book. Chapters such as Mouths and Jaws, Skeletons, and Skin, Coats, and Armor intersperse the double-page, single animal features, and the surprising yet satisfying “Animals in Art” pieces. 

So, for example, in “Mouths and Jaws” there are entries for, among other things, filter feeders, invertebrate jaws, and the use of fangs for injecting venom, as well as a “Species Spotlight” on Christmas Tree Worms, a double-page spread about the shapes of bird bills and how they adapt to the food available,  and an enriching piece about The Art Of Ornithology. 

What Did We Think Of Zoology: Inside The Secret World Of Animals?

I feel that in some ways I could cut and paste my “what did we think?” section for this tome because I’ve never met al Dorling Kindersley book I didn’t like. 


To do that would be an injustice because although I feel all DK books are fabulous, each one has it’s own unique appeal, and Zoology is no different.

With its beautiful illustrations and stunning wildlife photography, this book would be suitable for anyone who loves to move through page after page of remarkable imagery.  The photograph of a tiger taking down a deer is both joyous, for its inherent beauty and, heart-wrenching with its capture of the moment before the deer loses its race to live.

But that’s not all.

Zoology is an excellent gift for anyone interested in learning more about how animals adapt to their environments and capitalize on the resources available to them. It is also a fabulous choice for those who simply love animals and enjoy consuming complex knowledge in a digestible format.

Do Kids Like This Book?

Our kids love this book although I may have taken the edge off of their enjoyment just a little by demanding they wash their hands before they touch. It is perfect for dipping into together and I have picked it up on more than one occasion to help answer a question and then expand of that piece of knowledge.


 If you are looking for a book that your little one can dip into either with or without you, consider some of the excellent DK children’s books. Zoology is a large fairly heavy tome and not really the sort of thing the under ten set will be able to enjoy solo – except the images of course.

And Finally

What more can I say? I love this book.  My tweens, teens, twenty-something, and thirty-something kids love this book. Friends and family have visited, picked this up off of the table and sat, engrossed.

Buy it, borrow it, or best of all ask someone else to buy it for you.