Legg, Gerald 1947-

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LEGG, Gerald 1947-

PERSONAL: Born January 30, 1947, in Woodford Green, Essex, England; son of John Horace (a furniture shop owner) and Lilian Irene (a homemaker) Legg; married August 8, 1971; wife's name Patricia (a medical secretary); children: John Modupé, Michelle Joanne, Catherine Elizabeth Mary. Education: South West Essex Technical College, diploma (biochemistry technology), 1968; University of Manchester, Ph.D., 1971. Religion: Anglican. Hobbies and other interests: Photography, scuba diving, microscopy, beekeeping, muzzle-loading rifle shooting, engineering.

ADDRESSES: Office—c/o Booth Museum of Natural History, 194 Dyke Rd., Brighton, Sussex BN1 5AA, England. E-mail—[email protected].

CAREER: Museum biologist, researcher, and nonfiction author. Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, Freetown, lecturer in zoology and researcher, 1971-74; Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton, England, keeper of natural sciences, 1974—. British Arachnological Society, council member; Institute of biology, member.

MEMBER: British Museums Association, British Ecological Society, Biological Curators Group, Society of Authors, Royal Entomological Society of London (fellow), Linnean Society of London, Zoological Society of London.



Amazing Tropical Birds ("Eyewitness Juniors" series), photographs by Jerry Young, Knopf (New York, NY), 1991.

The X-Ray Picture Book of Amazing Animals, illustrated by David Salariya, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1993.

Minibeasts ("Puffin Factfinders" series), Puffin (London, England), 1993, Wright Group (Bothell, WA), 1994.

(With Kay Barnham) Flyers Animals: Minibeasts, F. Watts (London, England), 1994.

Monster Animals ("Puffin Factfinder" series), Puffin (London, England), 1994.

The X-Ray Picture Book of Incredible Creatures, illustrated by Carolyn Scrace, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1995.

(With Rupert Matthews) Amazing Animal Facts, Zigzag (Godalming, England), 1997.

Sharks ("Worldwise" series), illustrated by Elizabeth Branch and Jackie Harland, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1997.

Creepy Critters ("Factfinder" series), Smithmark (New York, NY), 1997.

Dragons ("Look and Wonder" series), illustrated by Carolyn Scrace, Macdonald Young Books (Hove, England), 1998.

Bugs ("Nature Watch" series), illustrated by Maggie Brand, Zigzag (New York, NY), 1998.

Find out about Minibeasts, Belitha (London, England), 2003.

Consultant to book series, including "Circle of Life," F. Watts, 1997, and other natural history titles.


Bears, illustrated by Carolyn Scrace and Mark Bergin, F. Watts (New York, NY), 2002.

Alligators and Crocodiles, illustrated by N. J. Hewetson, F. Watts (New York, NY), 2002.

Rats, illustrated by Mark Bergin and Bob Hersey, F. Watts (New York, NY), 2002.


From Caterpillar to Butterfly, illustrated by Carolyn Scrace, F. Watts (London, England), 1997, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1998.

From Egg to Chicken, illustrated by Carolyn Scrace, F. Watts (London, England), 1997, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1998.

From Seed to Sunflower, illustrated by Carolyn Scrace, F. Watts (London, England), 1997, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1998.

From Tadpole to Frog, illustrated by Carolyn Scrace, F. Watts (London, England), 1997, F. Watts (New York, NY), 1998.


The World of Animal Life, illustrated by Steve Weston, Barnes & Noble Books (New York, NY), 1998.

The World of Plant Life, illustrated by Steve Weston, Horus Editions (London, England), 2000, Gareth Stevens (Milwaukee, WI), 2002.

The World of Insect Life, illustrated by Steve Weston, Horus Editions (London, England), 2000, Gareth Stevens (Milwaukee, WI), 2002.


(With Richard E. Jones) Pseudoscorpions (Arthropoda, Arachnida): Keys and Notes for the Identification of the Species ("Synopses of the British Fauna" series), E. J. Brill (New York, NY), 1988.

Contributor of scientific papers, articles, and reviews to periodicals and journals.

ADAPTATIONS: Books by Legg have been adapted as CD-ROM products.

WORK IN PROGRESS: More juvenile nonfiction natural history titles; research on various aspects of arachnid biology.

SIDELIGHTS: Gerald Legg is staff biologist at England's Booth Museum of Natural History, where as part of his job he presents the animal world in a way that captures the interest of young visitors. As an outgrowth of the displays and exhibition materials he has devised, as well as because of his personal interest, Legg has authored a number of titles focusing on animal biology. Among the books he has produced for both nonfiction series and a stand-alone works of nonfiction are The X-Ray Book of Amazing Animals, Sharks, and the four-volume "Lifecycles" series that includes the titles From Caterpillar to Butterfly, From Egg to Chicken, From Seed to Sunflower, and From Tadpole to Frog. Praising The X-Ray Book of Amazing Animals as a "must have" for school libraries, Science Books and Films reviewer George Hennings noted that the "wealth of information, artistic skills, and fine editing" that went into the volume are commendable. Containing original illustrations revealing the anatomy of animals from snails to rats to tigers to whales in great—and sometimes even gross—detail, the book provides young researchers with what School Library Journal contributor Janet O'Brien characterized as "helpful and creatively presented bits of information."

In the four-volume "Lifecycles" series, Legg presents young readers with a detailed overview of natural processes. From Seed to Sunflower explains how a sunflower seed develops into a plant through germination, rooting, shooting, budding, and growth, and Legg's text is enhanced with brightly colored illustrations, a glossary, and a timeline. In From Tadpole to Frog, he also describes predators that can sometimes disrupt the growth cycle. Noting that the series is appropriate for very young students, School Library Journal contributor Anne Chapman commented that "these 'life stories' will be most appreciated" by fans of picture books such as Eric Carle's classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar "and who want to know more."

Legg told CA: "As a postgraduate student in the zoology department of the University of Manchester, I started writing in the departmental magazine Helix on various aspects of natural history, and wrote a series of articles on British Pseudoscorpions for the magazine Country Side. After graduating, I eventually obtained the position of lecturer in zoology, with special reference to entomology, at the Fourah Bay College of the University of Sierra Leone. Here I continued publishing scientific papers and researched into aspects of tropical forest ecology and the biology of soil arachnids. It was only when I came back to England as a biologist in a museum that I became involved with writing children's books. Part of my work in the museum is making natural history available to the young—interpreting collections and ideas. At the museum I have also edited, put together, and helped produce a number of publications. A number of years ago I was invited to work on a book for children and found the work stimulating and rewarding."



Appraisal, spring, 1992, Nancy R. Spence and Alison S. Jarvis, review of Amazing Tropical Birds, pp. 52-53.

Booklist, June 1, 1994, Carolyn Phelan, review of The X-Ray Book of Amazing Animals, p. 1806.

School Librarian, February, 1994, John Feltwell, review of Minibeasts, p. 25; August, 1995, Wilfred Ashworth, review of Incredible Creatures, p. 114; summer, 1998, John Feltwell, review of "Lifecycles" series, p. 96.

School Library Journal, November, 1994, Janet O'Brien, review of The X-Ray Book of Amazing Animals, p. 115; March, 1998, Anne Chapman and Eldon Younce, review of "Lifecycles" series, p. 197.

Science Books and Films, October, 1991, Edward I. Saiff, review of Amazing Tropical Birds, p. 211; October, 1994, George Hennings, review of The X-Ray Book of Amazing Animals, p. 210.