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Best Coffee Table Books for 2011

Author: Don E. Wilson, David BurnieHardcover; 624 pages; color photographsSeries: Smithsonian InstitutionPublisher: DKSuggested Retail: $50

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"Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife"

Author: Don E. Wilson, David Burnie
Hardcover; 624 pages; color photographs
Series: Smithsonian Institution
Publisher: DK
Suggested Retail: $50

This is a giant reference book of the world’s wildlife put together by the Smithsonian and a group of zoologists. But it’s much, much more than a volume of statistics. This is your at-home safari, your total visual immersion with nature.

With brilliant photographs of every imaginable type of creature — mammals and marine life, insects and birds — this book nearly has them all. About 2,000 species are profiled in all.

In this, the 10th anniversary edition, the reader will get a full introduction to the animal world, complete with major evolutionary developments, anatomy, and life cycles.

Also, as each species is profiled, there are maps and symbols that further explain the animal’s life and habitat, size, population, and conservation status.

A great gift for animal lovers of any age.

Photo Credit: DK