The Herons Handbook. By James Hancock and James Kushlan. Croom Helm, London, 1984. 288 pages including 65 colour paintings by Robert Gillmor and Peter Hayman, 21 line-drawings and 61 distribution maps. £16.95.This book's predecessor, The Herons of the World, by James Hancock and Hugh Elliott with 61 colour paintings by Robert Gillmor and Peter Hayman, was published in 1978 and reviewed in this magazine by Stanley Cramp (Brit. Birds 72: 234). He described it as 'superbly produced' and 'attractive', the text as 'well-written' and 'authoritative', and the paintings as 'highly decorative' and 'superbly printed'. Despite this deserved praise, the book has not found its way onto a large number of private bookshelves and the reason for this is simply one of price: £46.00 in 1978. The Herons Handbook is more likely to achieve popularity than its forerunner, due not only to its more attractive price, but also to the fact that it is the direct descendant of the earlier work. The initial impression on the prospective reader is very favourable, created by the eye catching paintings. Both artists have set a very high standard with their portrayals of each species in its natural habitat and it might be suggested that some of Robert Gillmor's plates may never be bettered. All of the paintings in the original book are repeated, though reduced in size from 350mm X 230mm to 234mm X 152mm, and there are four new plates by Robert Gillmor depicting a total of 60 white herons and egrets

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