The Most Important Animal of All

In this beautiful picture book, endorsed by the British Ecological Society and illustrated by award-winning Hannah Bailey, 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 elephants who shape their landscape and spread seeds? Or tigers who keep populations in balance? Also included are beavers,
bats, sharks and krill.


Learning why these animals are important develops an understanding of ecosystems and the interconnectedness of everything. With lots of information about these and other super-animals, this is a positive and gentle primer to the worrying issues of habitat loss, endangered species and climate change for young children.


Good for

Encouraging inquiry, discussion & critical thinking; learning about biological processes, caring about animals and the environment.

‘Informative and inspiring.’

Nicolette Jones,

The Sunday Times

£12.99 hbk



5 to 8 years

ISBN 978-1-8381381-3-4 (hbk)

 275 x 235mm / 10¾” x 9¼”

40pp, hardback and paperback

Illustrated by award-winning Hannah Bailey


World rights available



Hannah Bailey


’A wonderful celebration of nature and the inspiring
and diverse contributions that species make
to the world we live in.’

Professor Helen Roy

UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and
member of the British Ecological Society


‘… a really original way of sharing the information and

making it really accessible to the reader.’

The Teacher Bookworm @primaryteachew


‘ … an excellent reference book …’

Get Kids Into Books @GetKidsin2Books


‘… a brilliant book … engaging and understandable …’

Miss Cleveland is Reading @MissNCleveland

‘I hope every primary school in the land buys a copy
– they really should!’

Dr George McGavin

BBC presenter, lecturer and explorer


‘Designed to encourage inquiry, discussion and critical thinking and features a teacher challenging her class to come to their own conclusions ... Why not challenge your pupils to take on a similar challenge?’

Teach Primary Book Club


‘It’s the book that I never realised that I needed.’

Dean Boddington @MisterBodd


‘… an absolute cornucopia of information ...’

Library Girl and Book Boy @BookSuperhero2




'WATCH OUT FOR: Using delicious illustrations by Hannah Bailey as well as photographs, this British Ecological Society picture book (is) informative and inspiring."

 The Sunday Times

Hannah is an immensely talented illustrator and a rising star in children's books. In 2019, her book

When the Whales Walked written by Dougal Dixon (Words & Pictures) won the SLA Children's Choice Award for 7 to 12 year olds.


She graduated in 2010 from Brighton University, and now lives and works in Somerset, UK.


Her illustrations begin with pencil sketches that are traced and each tiny shape and segment hand-cut into a stencil. She then uses vibrant inks to fill the shapes with texture and colour, digitalises the elements and rearranges them into a final composition.


Hannah is inspired by the natural world, growing things and history, specialising in non-fiction for children as well as editorial and food illustration.


Represented by

The Artworks Agency


Mama Makes Books Ltd.



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with love