Deadly Pole to Pole Diaries by Steve Backshall

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Deadly Pole to Pole Diaries by Steve Backshall

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Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sam Tyler
Reviewed by Sam Tyler
Summary: Come on a globe-spanning adventure with the Deadly team that will visit remote places and dangerous beasties. With a mixture of informative diary entries and full colour photography, you will be equally informed and amazed.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 208 Date: October 2014
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781444013764

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Dear Diary, today I really woke up on the wrong side of the bed. For most people that means waking up in a grumpy mood, but for me it literally means the wrong side of the bed. I stepped straight into a pool full of viscous fish and then I climbed out, only to be chased by a bear. I am either eating too much cheese before I go to bed or partaking on a magnificent journey from Pole to Pole visiting dangerous animals on the way.

To millions of viewers Steve Backshall is a constant fixture on TV – I mean who doesn’t watch 'Strictly Come Dancing 2014? For many younger viewers he is actually much better known for his 'Deadly 60’ TV show that sees the intrepid Backshall investigate some of the most dangerous animals in the world and usually gives them a poke or two. One of his biggest adventures to date was to travel from the North Pole to the South in a year, visiting different climates on the way and seeing the animals they produce. ‘Deadly Pole to Pole Diaries’ is the account of this epic adventure.

There is a charm to Backshall that comes off the page making this a very fun and informative read for children age 7-12, dependent on their reading level. The book follows Backshall and his crew as they explore arctic wastelands, swamps, the sea and many other ecosystems. Backshall’s love of nature drips off every page as he describes the environments and how the animals have adapted to survive.

The secret to a good nature book for children is to get the right balance between information, fun and images. ‘Deadly Pole’ does this brilliantly. The book is packed with writing, but it is all written in an open and easy way that explains the day to day life of the ‘Deadly’ team as they underwent their adventure. Particularly scary moments are highlighted in boxed sections and act as some of the most fun stories in the book. Coupled to many of these are full page colour imagery of the animals involved. The photographs look stunning and show you how close they got to the animals.

The book is actually quite small, coming in at just over A5 size, so it feels like a step up from very young juvenile non-fiction. This is reflected in the information in the book too. There is no patronising here: Backshall will use some scientific terms, but will soon follow them up with an explanation as to what they mean. This is a great way for curious kids to actually learn something, rather than just enjoying the images. As a reader, Backshall expects you to have a genuine interest in adventure and nature. If you go into the book with this mind-set you will have a great time exploring the world alongside the dynamic Deadly group. I for one learned quite a lot myself and I am nowhere near the target age group!

If you like to live on the wild side and are a little older then The Book of Deadly Animals by Gordon Grice is an informative read. For younger readers, the Animal Lives series is fun, including Animal Lives: Cheetahs by Sally Morgan

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Buy Deadly Pole to Pole Diaries by Steve Backshall at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Deadly Pole to Pole Diaries by Steve Backshall at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Deadly Pole to Pole Diaries by Steve Backshall at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Deadly Pole to Pole Diaries by Steve Backshall at


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