Animals, writes Emmanuelle Pouydebat, are lyric poets; they discover and shape the world when they sing, dance, explore, and reproduce. The animal kingdom has been evolving for millions of years, weathering many crises of extinction; this book allows us to draw inspiration from animals' enduring vitality. Pouydebat's text, accompanied by striking color illustrations by artist Julie Terrazzoni, offers a catalog of wondrous beings. Pouydebat describes the African bush elephant-the biggest land mammal of them all, but the evolutionary descendant of a tiny animal that stood less than fifty centimeters (nineteen inches) high sixty million years ago; the scaly, toothless pangolin, the world's most endangered mammal-and perhaps its most atypical; the red-lipped batfish, which walks, rather than swims, across the ocean floor; and the great black cockatoo, a gifted percussionist. Chimpanzees, she tells us, self-medicate with medicinal plants; the jellyfish, under stress, reverts to juvenile polyp-hood; and the sweetly named honey badger feeds on reptiles, termites, scorpions, and earthworms. Pouydebat, a researcher at the French Museum of Natural History, and Terrazzoni capture the astonishment promised by any excursion into nature-the happiness that comes from watching a dragonfly, spider, frog, lizard, elephant, parrot, mouse, orangutan, or ladybug. It's the joy of witnessing life itself. We need only open our eyes to see.