K. J. Willis

Book - 2017

Showcases dozens of full-color plants from around the world in a gallery format, complemented by identification information and brief descriptions.--

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Welcome to the museum.
Somerville, Massachusetts : BPP [2017]
First U.S. edition. Reinforced trade edition
Physical Description
95 pages : color illustrations ; 38 cm
Includes index.
Main Author
K. J. Willis (author)
Other Authors
Katie Scott (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* This third large-format (almost 15 inches tall!) volume in the Welcome to the Museum series, following the wildly enjoyable Animalium (2014)—also illustrated by Scott—and Historium (2015), illuminates the remarkable realm of plant life. Divided into seven galleries, including "First Plants," "Palms and Cyads," and "Adapting to Environments," pages alternate between pithy introductory paragraphs and informational "keys" to significant specimens on the left, and exquisite renderings of discussed specimens on the right. Willis, director of science at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England, is at once technical, outlining pollination and physical adaptation processes, and playful, infusing text with fast yet fascinating facts. The designation "Pixie-cup lichen," for example, stems from European folklore: the lichen's stalked appearance offers pixies a vessel from which to "sip morning dew." Tropical trees, on the other hand, unlike their temperate counterparts, don't display growth rings. And the seemingly innocuous tulip? It's responsible for the "world's first financial crash." Elegantly encapsulating these dizzyingly diverse and ubiquitous wonders, Scott's photographic illustrations, too, offer astronomical appeal. Complete with an index and sources for suggested reading, this dazzling display is ideal for classroom and coffee-table collections, budding botanists and curious kids, and everywhere—and everyone—in between. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In a coffee-table-ready companion to Animalium and Historium, readers make their way through seven "galleries" devoted to "the first plants," trees, herbaceous plants, and other categories of flora, which are further subdivided; a spread devoted to "belowground edible plants" features cutaway images of a winged yam, beet, carrot, and other roots, assembled as if ready for a recipe. Scott's exquisitely detailed illustrations call to mind antique botanical prints, and Willis, director of science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, identifies each plant and provides vivid descriptions: "Orchids are the actors of the plant world, and the weird and varied shapes of the flowers reflect many highly specialized pollination systems." Visually stunning, it's an engrossing overview of Earth's remarkable and diverse plant life that provides opportunities for ongoing discovery on every page. Ages 8–12. (Mar.) Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 5 Up—A beautifully constructed compendium of plant life from around the world that offers up a visual and informational treat for future botanists and casual browsers alike. Part of the series that includes Historium and Animalium, this volume is formatted to resemble a trip to the botanical gardens. Each section provides a broad overview of the types of plants featured in the gallery, accompanied by lush, gorgeous pen-and-ink drawings that have been colored digitally. Illustrated plates highlight a number of different kinds of plants with further details, such as location, size, etc. The language is thorough yet accessible, making this a great choice for upper elementary and middle school libraries. The pages are thick and creamy; the drawings are detailed and colorful yet subdued. The whole package is a pleasure for the senses, and each turn of the page opens up a wonderful new world of plants. The title harkens back to a time of collectible books in which one would find pressed flowers between the pages. The pages depicting carnivorous plants and the Christmas star orchid are among the highlights. VERDICT The large format, sumptuous artwork, and thoughtful writing put this one a cut above the rest and make this a must-have for any library that can house it.—Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Showcases dozens of full-color plants from around the world in a gallery format, complemented by identification information and brief descriptions.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Discover more than 160 exhibits in this virtual museum, open all hours.The 2017 offering from Big Picture Press's Welcome to the Museum series, Botanicum, is a brilliantly curated guide to plant life. With artwork from Katie Scott of Animalium fame, Botanicum gives readers the experience of a fascinating exhibition from the pages of a beautiful book. From perennials to bulbs to tropical exotica, Botanicum is a wonderful feast of botanical knowledge complete with superb cross sections of how plants work.