“I was very small when I saw my first dolphin,” says zoologist Nicola Davies, recalling a seminal visit with her father to a dolphin show at the zoo. Enchanted at the sight of what she called the “big fish” jumping so high and swimming so fast, she determined right then that she would meet the amazing creatures again “in the wild, where they belonged.” And indeed she did—as part of a pair of scientific expeditions, one to Newfoundland at the age of eighteen and another to the Indian Ocean a year later. In Wild About Dolphins, Nicola Davies describes her voyages in a firsthand account filled with fascinating facts and captivating photographs of seven species of dolphins in action.
Nicola Davies’s seemingly boundless enthusiasm for studying animals of all kinds has led her around the world—and fortunately for young readers, she is just as excited about sharing her interests through picture books. Another of the zoologist’s offering puts a decidedly quirky twist on her years of experience: Poop: A Natural History of the Unmentionable is a fun, fact-filled guide to the fascinating world of poop across species. “As a zoologist, you are never far from poop!” the writer explains. “I’ve baked goose poop in an oven with my dinner, looked at bat poop under the microscope, and had my T-shirt stained pink with blue-whale poop. I was obviously fated to write this book.”
The exceptional combination of Nicola Davies’s zoological expertise and her first-rate children’s writing is apparent in her remarkable catalog of award-winning titles. Her first book with Candlewick Press, Big Blue Whale, was hailed by American Bookseller as an “artfully composed study” offering “language exactly appropriate for four- to seven-year-olds and precisely the right amount of information.” In One Tiny Turtle, Nicola Davies’s clear, compelling narrative follows the life of the rarely seen loggerhead turtle, which swims the oceans for thirty years and for thousands of miles in search of food, only to return, uncannily, to lay her eggs on the very beach where she was born. The author’s next book, Bat Loves the Night, is a tenderly written ode to a much-misunderstood flying mammal, the pipistrelle bat. And Surprising Sharks—winner of a Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor—contains unexpected facts about another one of the planet’s most infamous animals.
When she is not off on scientific expeditions, Nicola Davies lives in a cottage in Somerset, England, where she is lucky enough to have pipistrelle bats nesting in her roof.