This is a collection of essays from outside sources with a bunch of really pretty full-color artwork. If I'm going to be honest, the illustrations were my favorite part; the essays were very numerous and even though none ran over the length of 3 pages, a lot of them were very boring. However there were a few excerpts by some fabulous authors such as Franz Kafka, George Orwell, Haruki Murakami, Herman Hesse, Leo Tolstoy, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Stumbling upon these were pleasant surprises, as I wasn't expecting then to be featured.
This isn't such a great book to give to children although it looks nice and friendly, most of the essays aren't fuzzy stories about animals but circle-of-life type stories about animal deaths and hunting. The best essay in here has to be the one by George Orwell about shooting an elephant and the agonizing half hour it took to die. That sort of shows you the kind of tone set in most of these excerpts. There's even an excerpt from "Bear" by Marian Engel, which is a book about a sexual relationship between a human woman and a bear. The selections in here are varied to say the least. I didn't find the book as a whole very mentally stimulating though. Still, as the name implies, it's not a bad book to keep by your bedside if you want something to read a few pages of before you go to sleep.