"I was diagnosed with autism aged five... By age seven I knew I was very different... Nature became so much more than an escape, it became a life support system." At 15, Dara McAnulty from Northern Ireland is already a star of the conservation movement, with Chris Packham and Robert Macfarlane among his many fans. Creator of a blog entitled "Naturalist Dara", he received an Unsprung Hero Award from BBC's "Springwatch" in 2017; and was crowned "Animal Hero of the Year" by the Daily Mirror in 2018. In 2019 he became a Young Ambassador for the Jane Goodall Institute and was the youngest ever recipient of the RSPB Medal. Not surprisingly, there is already a great deal of fanfare surrounding this, his first book which will be BBC Radio 4 "Book of the Week", with appearances for Dara already booked at the Hay, Cambridge, Cheltenham and Edinburgh festivals. And the fanfare is wholly justified: this is an astonishingly assured book for one so young. Charting a year in his life from spring to winter, it beautifully and candidly conveys his intense connection to the natural world, from the perspective of a teenager juggling exams, family and friendship alongside his campaigning. He smashes stereotypes about autism, alongside gorgeous observations of everything from dandelions and wagtails to goshawks and horseflies. May it be a bestseller, not only for the extraordinary Dara, but for Little Toller Books, long one of my favourite indie publishers.