RaveThe New York Times Book Review...[a] vivid, entertaining and scrupulously researched history of the London Zoo’s first years ... It’s the scenes of animal misery in those trying early years that remain in the reader’s mind. These include the suicidal kangaroos battering themselves against a fence (at least one succeeded), the elephant that spent nine months in a ship’s dark hold traveling from India to England by way of China, and an elderly lion poked in the eye by a woman wielding a parasol.
RaveThe New York TimesMr. Mabey doesn’t want to reduce plants to utilities functioning on our behalf. A subtly expressed theme through his 29 chapters on 40-some plants, is that they don’t need us the way we need them. Their real gift to human beings, he writes, is to demonstrate 'different models of being alive.'”