TIME's Planet Earth: An Illustrated History arrived on my doorstep last week and has spent the past few days open on our kitchen table. It's a mesmerizing collection of nature and wildlife photos bound together in an attractive coffee table book, "just in time for the holiday season." A pre-Earth Day release would seem more apt for a book whose subject is the Blue Planet as photographed in its various spheres of existence.
Atmosphere, Pedosphere, Biosphere, Hydrosphere - my son and I turned through each page of these chapters and more, as we gawked at nearly 250 pages of National Geographic-esque photographs in this TIME publication - oxpecker birds riding atop a warthog, a profile of a lion and an antelope in close embrace on the Serengeti, a baby beluga blowing water rings, and, my favorite, a clutch of Japanese snow monkeys lounging like old men in a hot spring.
Evidently, the accompanying text is full of historical, geographical, and geological information, but honestly I've only read the captions accompanying the photos. Gorgeous.
Check it out for yourself.