Judging from your response to Gurav in the comments, it sounds like introductory zoology and plant biology texts would fit the bill.
For zoology, we teach from Hickman et al's Integrated Principles of Zoology. It outlines the major phyla, their defining characteristics, with plenty of specific examples scattered throughout. There are nice little problem sets throughout, and it goes into a solid amount of detail for a first or second year zoology course.
For plants, I've used Graham et al's Plant Biology, which takes a similar general approach. Though it's perhaps a bit broader, and less species-focused.
Both of these books outline the major relevant groups, and use 'representative' species to illustrate various biological points throughout. They might be a good place to start!