The Most Important Animal of All

The Most Important Animal of All

By Author / Illustrator

Penny Worms, Bailey, Morss, The British Ecological Society



Age range(s)



Mama Makes Books




Paperback / softback




The Most Important Animal of All is a beautiful picture book, illustrated by award-winning Hannah Bailey, where a teacher challenges her class to decide which is the most important animal of all. Seven children champion a different animal for the top spot.

Is it BEES as master pollinators, or BATS who are night-time predators as well as pollinators? Is it ELEPHANTS who shape their landscapes and spread seeds, or BEAVERS who create watery habitats? Is it TIGERS or SHARKS who keep populations in balance so there is food for all? Is it tiny KRILL, food for so many whales and sea creatures? Learn all about these keystone species, plus see photographs of them up close and in their habitats. At the back there's information about other important animals, such as wolves, hummingbirds and coral. 

This is a positive and gentle primer for young children from 5 years old about the more worrying issues of habitat loss, endangered species and climate change. "Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, we will help. Only if we help, we shall be saved." Dr Jane Goodall.  There are teacher-written classroom activities and lesson plans available on, which support the primary science curriculum, plus fun creative worksheets for free to download



Penny Worms has teamed up with illustrator Hannah Bailey and the British Ecological Society to create this clever mix of fact and fiction. The Most Important Animal of All follows a class of children, who supported by their teacher, discuss and debate which is indeed the most important animal of them all.

The text is full of facts and information about an animal championed by one of the children with the information shared in an easy to follow way which will allow the readers and listeners to understand it fully. The book has been produced to incorporate both illustrations and wildlife photography to allow children to effortlessly move between fiction and non fiction text types, as well gain further experience of other non fiction text type clues such as label, captions and index pages.

I think one of the successes of the book is the whole premise on which the text is based around. As a teacher, I felt myself instantly connect with the characters within and found myself relate to the delivery of the fictional curriculum. I would recommend this text to any educator working across the primary age range as a fantastic resource to help hook and stimulate learning around the animal kingdom. I would love to replicate the learning covered with my own class and allow them to naturally discuss the idea of what they consider to be the greatest animal of them all.

40 pages / Reviewed by Kyle Matravers, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 5+


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