Book review: The Coral Kingdom by Laura Knowles and illustrated by Jennie Webber.

Non-fiction books for children are becoming increasingly unique in their style and presentation of work. I recall the non-fiction section in both my local library and school library when I was a child and they all had a very similar way of presenting information through photos and diagrams.  Now there are non-fiction books that children quite possibly don’t realise they are learning from as they can be so beautiful. The Coral Kingdom, published this month is a fine example of such beauty.

The Coral Kingdom

The Coral Kingdom written by Laura Knowles and illustrated by Jennie Webber, both who I am big fans of, are also the talented individuals who created It Starts With a Seed (a book that we have borrowed from the library many a time). The Coral Kingdom is a hardback book and the read is eye opening and informative but first, lets just take a moment to appreciate the front cover.

I was absolutely mesmerized when I received this book and thought the front cover was stunning. Little One too loved it and observed the cover so carefully before diving into the book. The inside of the book does not disappoint.


Laura Knowles begins the book by informing her readers about the coral reef, where it can be found and how it can take a long time to grow. Laura Knowles skillfully explains facts to young readers and presents her work in a rhythmic text. The text does not talk down to readers and includes expert and exciting vocabulary, polyps, larvae, camouflage and colossal, which is a word Little One thought was rather fab.


The rhythmic text flows brilliantly through out the book and each turn of the page presents a journey deep through the waters. It makes for a brilliant read aloud and as you delve deeper in the text you meet the different colours of corals and are introduced to various creatures and life cycles but there is also something important discussed.

Some may not approve of the deep talks of saving the coral reef towards the end of the book but I could not think of a more perfect time. For the coral reef to survive and not be bleached we do need to be thinking greener and as Laura Knowles writes “The time is now, the chance is brief!” A fold out page includes ways in which we can help to protect the reef as well as more information about the coral reef.


The illustrations through out the book are sublime. Jennie Webber has done a brilliant job at grasping her readers with natural, appealing artwork which is so delicately and tastefully completed.

So much care and detail has gone in to the book and every ounce of the book includes information for young ones, even the endpapers with illustrations of different creatures and their names labeled.

I would urge you to go and find this delight of a book, an absolute stunner.

Thank you so much to the Quarto group for sending us this read.

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