Planet Earth: As You've Never Seen It Before by Alistair Fothergill is a companion book to the Discovery Channel/BBC Series Planet Earth and must surely be one of the most beautiful books ever published. Not only is the book a splendiferous display of more than 400 photographs taken using the latest in aerial surveillance, high definition technology and the most sophisticated new cameras, the photographs feature amazing landscapes from the world over.
The book was written by producers of the television series and the combined endeavor took over four years to make. More than 200 locations were filmed throughout the world and local scientists, trackers, pilots and field assistants helped with the project. Divided into eleven chapters including the whole earth, the frozen poles, the underworld and everything in between, Planet Earth delves into the flora and fauna, seasonal changes and effects of the ice age and other significant eras.
The text is fully indexed and there is an entire page dedicated to picture credits. In terms of overall publishing quality, this book is champagne. Smaller than many coffee table books, Planet Earth is still a substantial 11.25 inches high and 10 inches wide. The paper quality is superb, the end pages are metallic (!) and the weight of the book is listed as 3.95#. That is staggering!
Not only does this book deserve readers spending time absolutely pouring over every single page and photograph, the show's website linked above is worth a look. The eleven-part television series on DVD is also now on order at the library.