HUMAN PLANET: NATURE'S GREATEST HUMAN STORIES

Authors: Dale Templar and Brian Leith. Photography by Timothy Allen
BBC $59.95
Review: Monique Mulligan
 
STUNNING photography reveals and celebrates the ultimate animal – humans – in Human Planet: Nature’s Greatest Human Stories, the book that accompanies the landmark BBC series of the same name.
Through a focus on the vastly different communities existing across the globe – from deserts and rivers to jungles and cities – humans are shown to be the most adaptable and powerful species ever.
A beautifully-presented book with eye-catching and inspiring photography, the stories of people’s interactions with nature and each other are insightful, memorable and sometimes simply summed up with “wow”.
Images of children holding ready-to-roast goliath spiders, tribal gatherings full of pageantry and ritual, sea gypsies hunting underwater, and people going to the extremes to provide for their families will stay with readers for a long time.
The stories that pull the book together are written with care and depth, probing the meanings behind the communities’ actions, without judgement: “And like human life, a river is ultimately a cycle, with the next chapter in the story waiting to be written”.
A great addition to any bookshelf, Human Planet is worth a good look, as is the television series. 
You’ll be surprised what you learn.