"The book weaves zoology, biology, evolution, and culture, and it is delightful. A History of the World in 100 Animals is well-indexed and beautifully illustrated, and it’s a lot of fun to read. I will keep it on my library shelf and, as I do, rue the fact that my children are grown and gone and we cannot read a chapter of this every night together. Oh, the family conversations it could have sparked!"
"Simon Barnes’s paean to animals is also certainly a call for their conservation, but he does it with a wry humour, a conversational tone, and the belief that understanding other species will help us help them…and ourselves."
– Deccan Herald
“So, so good! ... More gems than a pirate's chest ... science, art, history, culture - it's epic and mammoth, a repository of all our truths through their lives.”
– Chris Packham, naturalist, television presenter, and author
Praise for The Meaning of Birds:
"Passionate, inviting, even lyrical. Barnes provides a companionable view of why we love birds, their lives, and futures."
– New York Times Book Review
"Barnes infuses this playful, conversational exploration of the relationship of birds to humanity with a sense of well-informed wonder. He demonstrates patient attention to the world around him, combining thoughtful scholarship with a skill for conveying particulars in accessible language. A generous volume."
– Publishers Weekly (starred)
"Glowing praise for birds from the prolific nature writer and novelist, who is filled with great affection and admiration for our feathered friends. The core message of this delightful book will appeal to birders everywhere."
– Kirkus Reviews
"A celebration, an exploration, and an exhibition. A cornucopia of facts, ruminations and appreciations—beautifully illustrated with multiple line drawings—The Meaning of Birds educates, entertains, and sends hearts soaring as Barnes shares his knowledge of and devotion to his subject, his eloquence and his wisdom."
– Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Barnes' fascinating with the avian world is at the heart of this book, a passion shared through engaging, often lively and always conversational text."
– BBC Wildlife
"[Barnes’s] premise is that people need birds, and if we pay attention to them, they can help us understand the world we share. Illustrated with stunning black-and-white illustrations."