Josh’s Big Year


“Josh’s Big Year is magnificent. The art in the photographs is exceeded only by the inspiration in the story. After turning every page with awe and wonder, I had to keep reminding myself of one startling fact — the author of this work was only sixteen years old when he started writing it. I salute Josh Crickmay.” ~Mark Obmascik, author, The Big Year: A Tale of Man, Nature, and Fowl Obsession Pulitzer Prize winner

“To qualify for 'coffee-table' status, you need something special to bring to the party. The impact this book is going to have on its audience can hardly be imagined.” ~ James Berrange, Design specialist and Founding Art Director of Getaway Magazine

“A lot of stuff I see, isn’t even on the same planet as Josh’s work.” ~ Renowned Wildlife Photographer Roger De La Harpe, Author of 27 Wildlife photographic books.

For every book sold, R50 will be donated to various Wildlife Charities across the globe.

Josh's Big Year: rated one the top 5 favourite read's by Wild.

SKU: JBY Category:


As the sun goes down on a burnt-out Monday afternoon, one may joke that life has “gone to the birds”. For my family and I, it’s no laughing matter.

In 2012, Andrew and Kathy Crickmay took an unexpected blow when their only child (myself) dropped out of school and was diagnosed with Aspergers and severe depression, and life as we knew it spiraled out of control.

In 2013, we decided to fight back against fate.

Fast forward six months to a scene in the Amazon Rainforest, as my little family hacks it’s way through jungle, mud and clouds of mosquitoes in search of Macaws, Hoatzins and Toucans. Delving deeper into the unfamiliar forest, whilst still shaking from our boots Namibian desert sand, and flicking swamp muck of the Okavango Delta from behind our ears.

“In a desperate attempt to escape life as it was, the Crickmays took on one of the most grueling wildlife related challenges, the Birding Big Year. Setting out to find a total of 1 000 bird species from two completely different sides of the world within a calendar year, they immediately flung themselves to the farthest corners of the globe.”

Join the fray as we trek across 8 countries and travel over 70 000km in busses, planes and dugout canoes, only to land in waters infested with Piranha, Cayman, Anacondas and Rays, and share tents with Cobras, Hippos and deadly Ants. Taking on the harshest elements and most untamable creatures, tackling the driest deserts and the densest jungles, and give an all new meaning to the term; “Up the creek without a paddle”. All in the search of 1 000 birds.

But this is a journey not without it’s hardships. So follow me as I chase every bird-lovers dream, through intense sacrifice, heart-wrenching trial and occasional failing senses of humor, as I fight to find my place in the world.

Additional information

Weight 2.5 kg
Dimensions 30 × 30 × 3 cm


  1. Pat Thompson

    This book has so many facets– the human story of victory over darkness, wonderful photography, amusing and well written story telling— and all done between the age of 15 to 19— a unique and quite remarkable achievement.

  2. Janet & Vic Rowell

    We gave this amazing and inspirational book to our son for his 40th birthday. What an incredible adventure passed on, through the book, to everyone reading it. Well done, Josh, for your tenacity against all odds and to your parents for their devotion and love.

  3. maddy

    Josh your book has been such an inspiration to me and all those I know who have read your book. The photography is exceptional. The beautiful birds and all the creatures, big and small, leap out of the page displaying their own individual characters. Your stories are so informative and full of youthful humour which is a delight. Keep going Josh. We are proud of you.

  4. Graham and Jean

    This is much more than a coffee table book. Besides the spectacular photography of birds, reptiles, amphibians, other species and scenery Josh proves to be a gifted writer. He takes one on an inspirational journey of emotions, family lows, highs and courage. His descriptive writing high lights the sense of place and the beauty and harshness of countries visited. His fresh enthusiasm, quirky humour and the wealth of information keep the pages turning. One is persuaded to get out there, to discover more about these special places, the flora and fauna and oneself. This is an amazing book of great adventure, human triumph and concern for the environment.

  5. Lewis and June Hancock

    As birding enthusiasts we found Josh’s book extremely interesting. The script is entertaining and the photographs are stunning.

  6. Daphne Bouttell

    Wow! Well done Josh on producing this beautiful book- This book encompasses more than just the stunning photography of not only birds but other creatures too. It tells a beautiful story of adventures accomplished to achieve the photographs as well as a personal journey of inspiration and triumph written from the heart. A fabulous read, a beautiful gift and a perfect coffee table addition which will be picked up -with difficulty to put down thereafter ! I eagerly await any future editions.

  7. Adrian Gore

    Dear Josh

    I heard about your remarkable story, and wanted to reach out to congratulate you on both a beautiful book of photography, and the dedication you have shown to recovery and healing – which is an inspiration to us all. It is my deep belief that an attitude of optimism and setting clear goals is fundamental to achieving profound growth – whether professional or personal – and you have demonstrated both in a powerful way over the past year.

    I wish you ongoing success as you continue to pursue your talents and passions – now is your time.


    Adrian Gore

  8. Maria Treloar

    I am sitting with tears rolling down my face. What an amazing testimony of hope over despair.
    Such a family adventure portrayed in such a unique way. Wonderful photography.

  9. Hilton Ratcliffe

    My good ol’ mate Ian Campbell-Gillies bought me Josh Crickmay’s incredibly stirring book, Josh’s Big Year, at the Hilton Arts Festival yesterday. Do whatever you have to do to get this book, folks. The photography is epic, and the message it carries even greater. It’s one of those publications that changes the way I think, and it is going to be treasured. Thank you, Ian. I owe you boet, big time.

  10. Nick Norman

    Just finished Josh’s Big Year. Very sad I’ve come to the end. (I turned the last page before the back cover to find the obligatory blank spread, with great disappointment. ?. I still had a small hope there was more. But no.) So thank you, thank you

  11. Linda

    Dear Kathy, I have just spent the past 2 hours paging/ skimming through as you call it, ‘ your boy’s story’!!!! It is without any doubt one of the most BEAUTIFUL, inspirational, motivational, encouraging, WONDERFUL books/stories I have ever read!!!WOW!WOW!WOW!!!! What a boy! What a Mom! What a Dad! What a family!!! THANK YOU for truly blessing us with a copy of this most precious story.

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