My Other Nature Books

Fieldwork Fail


Written and illustrated by Jim Jourdane, in collaboration with 25 scientists from around the world, Fieldwork Fail is the first non-academic book in which I was involved as editor. As recounted in my blog post about the experience, the theme of this book - "the messy side of science" - and Jim's wonderful illustrations, immediately appealed to me. In a previous life I was a field biologist myself so have been responsible for a few blunders of the sort described in these pages. I really enjoyed working with Jim on the English version and wholeheartedly recommend you purchase Fieldwork Fail here: there are also versions in Spanish and French. 

One wildlife anthology. Three passionate nature writers. Nine engaging stories. 


Humorous, heart-warming, and just plain entertaining, this delightful miscellany of creative non-fiction and fiction tales, by Margi Prideaux, Jessica Groenendijk, and Donna Mulvenna, captures nature writing at its most exciting and diverse.


All Things Breathe Alike takes you on a journey through some of the most scenic and rich wildlife habitats in the world. From the humble chameleon in Tanzania to the regal gorilla in Rwanda, from the irrepressible giant otter in the Peruvian Amazon to the majestic elephant in Thailand's forests, and from the gentle sloth to the haughty harpy eagle in French Guiana, the insights and natural encounters in this family-friendly collection will charm and inspire anyone with a respect for, and love of, wildlife. 

All Things Breathe Alike

Tito intiri Chavaropana


In 2013, I received funding through the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU, University of Oxford), for the creation of an illustrated bilingual conservation education book, in Matsigenka and Spanish, for the Matsigenka communities in and around Manu National Park, southeastern Peru. The nature story is aimed at children but I hope it will appeal to all ages. The main protagonists are a Matsigenka boy, Tito, acting as the voice of his community, and a giant otter, Chava, as flagship species of the aquatic environment in particular, and of the Protected Area as a whole.


The book explores the worlds and perspectives of each, blending Matsigenka folklore with natural history as well as key conservation issues. The book is co-authored by Gregorio Perez (a Matsigenka community leader) and Glenn Shepard (an anthropologist and expert on Matsigenka culture) and illustrated by a Cusco artist, Miguel Achahuanco. Our aim is to help promote the conservation of the giant otter, a charismatic, endangered species that is one of Manu National Park's main tourist attractions, as well as enhance dialogue between the Matsigenka communities and Protected Area authorities.


Jessica Groenendijk | Words from the Wild | Nature writing | Non fiction | Nature books

Giants of the Madre de Dios


A popular/scientific book co-authored with my husband, Giants of the Madre de Dios begins with a day in the life of a giant otter family. In Chapter Two, we accompany a disperser during the trials and tribulations of a year spent looking for a mate and home of its own. The third Chapter navigates the Madre de Dios River, from its source in the high Andes to the border with Bolivia, a river that links important giant otter populations and shapes the lives of gold miners, loggers, and indigenous peoples alike. Chapter Four describes a variety of conservation actions that have benefited the otters over the last decades. And in Chapter Five we outline challenges, and propose steps we can take, to further conservation of the species in southeastern Peru. 


With the right words, you can change the world.


  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle
  • LinkedIn - White Circle

© 2014-2019, Jessica Groenendijk