I am a man of nature.
So it's no suprise that it only took two minutes after it's discovery to officially want to add this to my compendium collection.
After a week, I manage to find and buy this book at Barnes n' Noble (cost me $50 - you'll get a much better deal on here!)
First off, I'm going to tell you know (though you probably already know), this book is FREAKIN' BIG!!!! Might as well be a college textbook! You'll need to find some (worthy) space in your bookshelf for it.
Secondly, the sheer number of species (and specimens, mind you) inside these covers in astounding. Compare a book from the same series (DK's Animal for example), which had about 2,000 species in it.
This tome has 5,000 (something you need to see in order to grasp the sheer quantity)! And not just animals... where else could you find a book with rocks, minerals, fossils, shells, microbes, fungi, plants, protists, and animals all in one!
It's taxonomically organized (with the system for rocks and minerals as well) starting with Bacteria & Archaea first, then Protists (yes, it uses the kingdom Protista - something I don't usually favor), then the plants take over for a good portion of the book (any lover of flowers is going to flip out), fungi proceed, then finally come the animals (which takes up half of the book - and I don't even mind). One thing I really enjoy is the fact that this is one of the only plant books I've seen were everything isn't organized for gardeners. And there are some very cool rocks and minerals in here.
Third, the format is reminicent of a Sears/Walmart catalog - the species group is listed, and then specimens abound to every last corner of the page. The photos (and illustrations for some) are wonderful and very clear.
A few "not favorable" things I might add - not all animal groups get coverage, most entries that cover trees do not show the entire plant but simply a branch or leaf, the fish diversity is somewhat limited, and I've already mentioned the kingdom Protista and the dominating Animalia.
But you shouldn't pay attention to these things, because if you're looking for a book with a complete diversity of the world we live in - I would recommend this.