Kasia's Reviews > Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents

Cool Creatures, Hot Planet by Marty Essen
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's review
Mar 31, 2010

it was amazing
Read in June, 2007

I wasn't sure what to expect upon my first encounter with this book since I'm used to watching nature shows on TV and rarely get to read about them. This book turned out to be a wild and fascinating adventure of a married couple traveling though the seven continents, commenting on many steps of their journey with sharp eye for the tiniest details that made for a marvelous book. Marty Essen shows his deep talent for writing, his witty comments and jokes; descriptions of the people, places, even their dogs that went with them to Canada were so entertaining that I never knew what was coming up next. This isn't some boring nature book but a delicious seven course meal of the highest caliber. The book is easy to read yet is chock full packed with incredible information that can only be witnessed by the person who actually went to those places and experiences the cold, the hot and dangerous spots that hold so much allure to all of us.

First leg of the trip was Belize, located on the Caribbean Sea where they searched for deadly snakes and explored flora and fauna of the humid, tropical jungle followed by an amazing boat ride through the rivers of the Amazon. Next they visited Australia, savoring the red hot beauty and in search of cute marsupials followed by a 5,572mile drive to Canada and back with their adorable dogs where they slept in tents and discovered beauty that is closer to most Americans than they think. Up next was Antarctica, a magnificent place that so few of us get to experience, and with Marty and Deb it was a chilling and glorious landscape that wasn't as alien as it appears to be. Borneo, Europe and Africa were the last places that were covered, making me feel that the whole Earth was covered with footprints that belonged to the Essens. Their cheerful and sometimes scary encounters were so wonderfully written about, supplemented with marvelous photographs that I had to look at every time I cracked the book. They were also in perfect order with the book, giving the reader a transition into their trip from place to place, making it seem effortless even though it took them a few years to complete. It also helped that Marty took notes while traveling, making this book more authentic and adding little bits and pieces of conversation and jokes that could have been lost otherwise.

I felt closer to some of my favorite animals after reading this gripping book, felt the warmth and hospitality of people from far away places and best of all I feel like I got the front row seat at a ride of my life, thinking that perhaps one day I will visit those places and give them the same respect as the author did. Marty placed great value upon respecting our planet, not littering and being careful with wild animals, not bringing them any harm when they are being observed. People should go and visit places to take the beauty in, not to take it away and diminish it in any way.

This was a really exciting read, a wild life memoir filled with laughs and valuable information that will grip any reader and it made me feel like I went on an adventure of my own, reading about the close encounters with the most beautiful places and coolest animals.
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