What A Shell Can TellHelen Scales, illustrated by Sonia Pulido

Price AUD$29.95 | Phaidon 100 Price £16.95 | Phaidon 100 Price €19.95 | Phaidon 100

'This wondrous compendium will enthrall beachcombers and landlubbers alike.' – The New York Times

'For the beach-bound family … they may even end up knowing what they're finding when they're combing the sand.' – The Wall Street Journal

A stunning, lavishly illustrated, and information-packed introduction to the wonder of shells through the art of observation - the perfect book for young explorers, collectors, and nature lovers everywhere

Award-winning marine biologist Helen Scales introduces children to the wonders of shells (from seashells to land snails) through the art of observation. Using a friendly question-and-answer format, she explores, through a richly sensory experience, the incredible diversity of shells around the world and showcases the environments molluscs inhabit. From what a shell's shape, color, or texture can reveal about its inhabitant, to where shells are found (from the deepest seas to jungly treetops), with this book, readers can get up close with nature to observe its wonders.

Ages 6-9


  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 315 × 254 mm (12 3/8 × 10 in)
  • Pages: 48 pp
  • Illustrations: 48 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9781838664305

Dr Helen Scales is a marine biologist, writer, and documentary maker focusing on connections between people, science, and the living world. She is the author of the Guardian bestseller Spirals in Time, and writes for National Geographic Magazine, the Guardian, and New Scientist, among others. She teaches at Cambridge University and is science advisor for the marine conservation charity Sea Changers.

Sonia Pulido  is an artist living in a seaside village close to Barcelona. Her illustrations have appeared in publications globally, including The New Yorker and The New York Times.

'Young shell-hunters of 6+ will adore this jewel-bright, fascinating work of nonfiction by a marine biologist and a seaside-dwelling artist.' - The Guardian

'This delicately illustrated book would make a beautiful beach holiday companion.' - The i Paper

'Introduces the wonder of seashells.' - Publishers Weekly

'This is a rich, detailed text that speaks of shells and their diversity, development, structure, importance, evolution and more.' - Children's Literature

'Brimming with fascinating facts … students and adults will be amazed by all that we can glean by looking closely at shells.' - Youth Services Book Review

'Children and adults alike will be riveted by the sci-fi like, real-life animals that litter every beach.' - Sy Montgomery, author of The Soul of an Octopus

'The gorgeous illustrations will keep you going back. They feature vibrant colors, interesting shapes, and water that ripples off the page. What a Shell Can Tell is great to accompany on a trip to the beach, or to conjure up cool waves in your own home.' - Growing with Science, Roberta Gibson

'Inspires shell collectors and budding marine biologists alike to take better care of our oceans…environments and the shells living in them.' - Red Hook Star-Revue, Marie Hueston