The best dodo bird books

1 authors have picked their favorite books about dodo bird and why they recommend each book.

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The Dodo and its Kindred

By Hugh Edwin Strickland, Alexander Gordon Melville,

Book cover of The Dodo and its Kindred: Or The History, Affinities, and Osteology of the Dodo, Solitaire, and Other Extinct Birds of the Islands Mauritius, ...

This is a beautifully presented antique book and, unfortunately for anyone who wants it, it is fiercely expensive. It is the second of my choices with Dodo in the title, but this one really is about the species.

There have been many books and scientific papers written about the subject but, curiously, most of them are full of erroneous information or are derivative in the extreme. Even my own book Dodo – from Extinction to Icon is limited. I wrote somewhere that all we actually know about the living bird could be written on the back of a postcard. Perhaps because this remark is essentially accurate, many writers on the subject have felt the need to embellish the truth and invent or copy all manner of misinformation.

The book produced by Mr. Strickland and Mr. Melville is of a very different stamp. Although written so long ago, it is a…

Who am I?

I am a painter who specializes mostly in sleazy sports (boxing, snooker, etc. – nothing really healthy!) who happens to have written and designed 18 books. Obviously, producing books has become something of a habit. These books are about curiosities of natural history and also about art – but they have little to do with my paintings. Anyone who is interested in either the books or the paintings can see them on my website. I suppose the book that I’m best known for is Drawn from Paradise, a book that I did with David Attenborough on one of our two mutual obsessions – birds of paradise. Apart from books and paintings, my life is fairly humdrum; in fact, there isn’t a lot of time for much else, although I’ve been married more than once and have children. I’ve now reached an age when I should start slowing down but I’ve no intention of stopping what I do until either bad health or death finish me off!

I wrote...

The Great Auk

By Errol Fuller,

Book cover of The Great Auk

What is my book about?

It is difficult for me to pick a favourite from the various books I’ve published, but since I’m obliged to make a choice, it has to be The Great Auk. This is a volume about a bird that has been extinct since 1844 and, surprisingly perhaps for a book about a single species, it runs to almost 450 large pages. It even surprises me that I found so much to write about. When I started it, I expected it to run to, perhaps, a hundred pages or so, but the obsession to produce something entirely complete just went on and on and on.

I tried to leave no stone unturned in the hunt for information and pictures. In fact, the size became a problem when it came to finding a publisher. In addition to all the written material, I had collected more than 200 coloured pictures of what is essentially a black and white bird. No publisher is likely to tolerate such self-indulgence, and all wanted to cut it to more reasonable proportions. This was something I couldn’t even begin to consider – so I published it myself. Then, when it was done an American publisher (Abrams) decided to take it on after all and they produced a US edition. Naturally, I was pleased about this but unfortunately, they changed the dustwrapper and it is nowhere near as beautiful as the dust jacket on my privately published UK edition.

Lottie's New Friend (Lottie's World)

By Petra Mathers,

Book cover of Lottie's New Friend (Lottie's World)

Lottie is a wise, steady chicken and Herbie is a silly, insecure duck, but their strong friendship is at the core of all the stories in this five-book series. Herbie is extremely jealous of Lottie’s new friend, Dodo. While Lottie is away, Dodo gets stuck on her roof, overcome with a fear of heights, and Herbie comes to her rescue. Herbie feels much better when Dodo says, Now I know…why Lottie says you can always count on Herbie…and that you are ze apple of her eye.” Our whole family is very attached to the endearing personalities of Lottie and Herbie and the stained, worn pages of our copies show how frequently they have been read.

Who are we?

The subject of friendship can be explored endlessly, as every friendship is unique. I am especially drawn to stories of unlikely friendships that look at the surprising and interesting ways that we show up for one another. One of the things that I see in all of the stories that Giselle and I have chosen, is that these unusual friendships make a difficult, awkward, or downright scary world a better place to be. 

We wrote and illustrated...

Olive & Pekoe: In Four Short Walks

By Jacky Davis, Giselle Potter (illustrator),

Book cover of Olive & Pekoe: In Four Short Walks

What is our book about?

Olive & Pekoe: In Four Short Walks is the story of two dogs taking daily walks together and is told in four vignettes. Olive is very old and wise, and Pekoe is rambunctious and inexperienced, and even though they are significantly different, they are still the best of friends. Together they explore the woods, enjoy sticks, get caught in bad weather, and confront a mean bully in a dog park.

A starred Kirkus review, calls the book, “A delight.” And says, “Illustrator Potter’s impressively expressive naïve-style watercolor, ink and colored-pencil illustrations perfectly nuance author Davis’ witty text.”


By Felipe Nunes,

Book cover of Dodo

This is a story about someone going through something difficult and not having the words to verbalize why it is having a drastic impact. The premise is simple: Laila’s parents are going through a separation and she has to stay home. One day, she sees a giant bird across the street and allows him to enter her house. Laila tries to keep him a secret, but this bird has other plans. To me, this book is about visualizing a difficult or unnamed emotion. It shows how messy such a process can be. Also, the illustrations are delightful.  

Who am I?

Coming-of-age stories have always appealed to me because of their focus on an internal struggle. They’re usually juxtaposed with a changing landscape or moving to a new place. In broad strokes, coming-of-age stories focus on personal identity and our place in our day-to-day world. As someone who’s born in the US but grew up on the Mexican side but currently lives in California, the questions of what aspects of me are American and which are Mexican have been ongoing. With that in mind, these five books speak to me in a profound way, and I'm happy they exist as comics. 

I wrote...

Twin Cities

By José Pimienta,

Book cover of Twin Cities

What is my book about?

Twin Cities is a thoughtful and sweet look at two siblings growing apart as they continue their education on the different sides of the Mexico-US border. While Teresa adjusts to school in a foreign language, Fernando discovers that middle school in Mexico is a completely different place than elementary school. 

The Sandman Vol. 5

By Neil Gaiman, Shawn McManus (illustrator), Colleen Doran (illustrator), Bryan Talbot (illustrator), George Pratt (illustrator), Stan Woch (illustrator), Dick Giordano (illustrator)

Book cover of The Sandman Vol. 5: A Game of You

I could have put the entire Sandman series on this list and called it a day, so if you are unfamiliar with it, then please consider this an invitation to start with the first volume and go from there. Sandman is one of those special things that feel like a threshold into a much larger world. A strange and mysterious realm of dreams and magic, but whose doorway remains a secret to all but those who’ve cracked its cover. 

As I was limiting myself to only one collection in the series, I chose “A Game of You” as it’s very much a fantasy tale. It follows a princess named Barbie who navigates a dreamworld with a talking rat, a monkey in a suit, and a dodo bird while her friends in the “real” world contend with hurricanes, falling moons, and a dismembered talking head. Despite the Narnia-like feel, this is…

Who am I?

I’ve always been drawn to the woods. There’s something strange and mysterious about the trees. It’s a place where true magic feels possible. I enjoy stories that recreate this feeling. That keep that sense of mystery. That don’t feel the need to explain every detail or every strange occurrence within their pages. Stories that build deep worlds over time, but maintain a sense of wonder. I love stories that are funny, that aren’t afraid to be weird or dark, and that have a strong heart. They are the type of stories I try to tell in my own work and the ones I most love to get lost in.

I wrote...


By Eric Grissom, Will Perkins (illustrator),

Book cover of Goblin

What is my book about?

A young, headstrong goblin embarks on a wild journey of danger, loss, self-discovery, and sacrifice in this new graphic novel adventure.

One fateful night a sinister human warrior raids the home of the young goblin Rikt and leaves him orphaned. Angry and alone, Rikt vows to avenge the death of his parents and seeks a way to destroy the man who did this. He finds aid from unlikely allies throughout his journey and learns of a secret power hidden in the heart of the First Tree. Will Rikt survive the trials that await him on his perilous journey to the First Tree? And is Rikt truly prepared for what he may find there?

A History of Birdwatching in 100 Objects

By David Callahan,

Book cover of A History of Birdwatching in 100 Objects

The author was one of the earliest (if not the earliest) to write a history of a subject using a specific number of objects. In this book, he describes the development of observing birds through the medium of 100 objects, of which a surprising selection is presented, all well illustrated, from prehistoric paintings to more recent technology.  Possibly the most curious is a stuffed extinct dodo at the Horniman Museum in London. It was actually a deceptive piece made by a leading taxidermist using plaster casts, chicken wings, and swan, goose, and ostrich feathers.

Who am I?

Having grown up on the south coast of Hampshire, I love both the countryside and the sea. After studying ancient history, archaeology, and Latin at the University of Bristol, I worked for many years as a field archaeologist and met my husband Roy on an excavation of a Roman villa at Milton Keynes. We have worked together ever since, as archaeologists and as authors of books on archaeology, ancient history, naval history, and social history. Our wide-ranging interests proved invaluable when writing our book When There Were Birds.

I wrote...

When There Were Birds

By Roy Adkins, Lesley Adkins,

Book cover of When There Were Birds

What is my book about?

Our book can be summarised as ‘Whatever did birds do for us?’ The answer is a surprising amount. By drawing together disparate and often forgotten strands, we have created an unexpected social history of Britain, showing how birds were once centre stage. They were key elements of the nation’s history, traditions, and sports and so shaped our literature, language, superstitions, and myths. The numerous topics include medicine, food, folklore, migration, caged birds, canaries down mines, unlucky feathers, goose quills for writing, weather forecasts, taxidermy, and so much more. For those who care about the environment, our book provides essential information about how birds fared in the past.

Golden Bats and Pink Pigeons

By Gerald Durrell,

Book cover of Golden Bats and Pink Pigeons

I’ve been a Durrell fan since I was 13, and I’ve collected all his books. This one opened my eyes to a group of islands in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius and its nearby neighbour Round Island. Durrell’s books are focused on conservation of the animal world, but his books are as much about the human animal, and his adventures and descriptions of the people he meets and the locations he travels to bring his books to life. Highly recommended for anyone interested in travel, conservation and humour.

Who am I?

Simon Michael Prior loves small islands, and has travelled to remote countries in search of unique island experiences. He inflicts all aspects of life on himself so that readers can enjoy learning about his latest exploits. During his forty-year adolescence, he’s lived on two boats, sunk one of them; sold houses, street signs, Indian food, and paper bags; visited fifty countries, lived in three; qualified as a scuba diving instructor; learnt to wakeboard; trained as a Marine Rescue skipper, and built his own house without the benefit of an instruction manual.

I wrote...

The Coconut Wireless: A Travel Adventure in Search of The Queen of Tonga

By Simon Michael Prior,

Book cover of The Coconut Wireless: A Travel Adventure in Search of The Queen of Tonga

What is my book about?

A fun true story with romance, travel and adventure. When Simon and Fiona embark on a quest to track down the Queen of Tonga, they have no idea they’ll end up marooned on a desert island. No idea they’ll encounter an undiscovered tribe, rescue a drowning actress, learn jungle survival from a commando, and attend cultural ceremonies few Westerners have seen. 

As they find out who hooks up, who breaks up, who cracks up, and who throws up, will they fulfill Simon’s ambition to see the queen, or will they be distracted by insomniac chickens, grunting wild piglets, and the easy-going Tongan lifestyle?

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