Forshall, Beatrice

Our earth is more beautiful and more diverse than we can possibly conceive of.

Collected here are eighty of the planet’s most mysterious, bizarre, and wondrous creatures and plants. Their stories are captivating, from the olm – a pale creature with no eyes that lives in cave pools – to the hawksbill turtle, whose gender is determined by the temperature of the sand it was born in. These creatures have survived hundreds of thousands of years by cleverly adapting to their environments, but their futures remain far from certain.

In The Book of Vanishing Species, artist and writer Beatrice Forshall tells story after story – bringing to life red cranes as they dance and bow for the sheer joy of movement, trees that breathe out a haze of misty atmosphere for insects that only feast on one kind of flower, a deep-ocean snail quietly building its shell from iron… each one is immortalised in a detailed etching. As you turn the pages, there emerges a network of life that stretches across and around the planet in a dazzling web of existence.

The Book of Vanishing Species is both a love letter to the wonders of nature, and an urgent call to arms to protect what is precious and beautiful in this world.

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Bloomsbury Publishing, January 2023.   255 pages, hardcover,  colour and black and white illustrations