Living Planet [The Story of Survival on Planet Earth]: A Review

I love a good reference book and still have a small treasured collection from when I was little that I have been rediscovering with my boys as we’ve been trying to facilitate home learning. However, I’m also aware that my boys live in an increasingly digital age so when we were asked if would like to review Living Planet which features interactive pages I leapt at the chance.

Discover what our planet is made of, from the formation of the Earth and prehistoric life, to the varied habitats of our world today as well as how humans have made an impact on Earth’s changing climate.

Living Planet explores nature in all its glory, from the formation of the Earth, to the varied habitats and creatures of our world today.

Large double page layouts

Living Planet combines large colourful illustrations with some truly breathtaking wildlife and landscape photography. Key facts are presented in easy to understand language suitable for a wide range of age groups and arranged in short reading blocks so as not to overload a younger reader with too much information.

Detailed illustrations

BUT, the real selling point for Living Planet is its interactive content. By downloading the FREE app (available for both android and apple devices) you will gain access to the augmented reality features hiding amongst the pages and your learning will instantly step up a gear.

Breathtaking wildlife photography

The whole idea of the Living Planet app is brilliant and really encourages a child’s curiosity in learning more about the natural world. The added ‘digital’ element instantly grabbed my boys interest and I was more than happy to see them using my phone for more than watching unboxing videos on YouTube!

The app can be used wherever you see this symbol

I was also relieved to see that Living Planet not only covers the beauty and wonder of our planet but also huge issues such as climate change, pollution and natural disasters. It does so in a child friendly, age appropriate way balancing the importance of the climate emergency with positive suggestions for change in the ‘Looking Ahead’ chapter.

The planet may face an uncertain future, but we can make a difference when we work together to make positive changes in our lifestyles. Our precious, living planet deserves the very best of our efforts.

Living Planet’s topics are split under 4 headings:

  • The Birth of a Living Planet
  • Wonder of Life
  • Habitats
  • People and the Planet

This makes the book easy to navigate and to find a particular subject, allowing you to dip in and out at your own leisure. Each topic; for example ‘Fire and Fury’ is laid out across a double page spread.

Living Planet is great for school work, I’ve added an example below of how we have used our copy of Living Planet to aid our learning during lockdown.

Volcano detail

We read all about the structure of the earth and how volcanoes are formed, the boys used the app to view a video of an erupting volcano. I must admit, it is a pretty cool feature especially when the videos feature sound too.

We then made our own volcano erupt using bicarbonate of soda and vinegar with a bit of food colouring and the boys enjoyed a bit of messy play with their dinosaurs.

Messy fun

Our Verdict.

Living Planet is a great resource to aid learning about the natural world for children of all ages. The added AR element made it stand out from our other books and also grabbed my boys attention.

It’s cool, I like watching the videos with James. I hold the phone and James presses the play button so that we share. The pages feel nice and have lots of pictures. Stanley (5)

Written by Camilla De La Bedoyere and published by Welbeck Children’s Limited© Living Planet is available to purchase now RRP £12.99

Disclosure: We were gifted a copy of Living Planet by the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

All images are my own unless otherwise credited and must not be reproduced without permission.