PPBF: Brian Wildsmith’s Animal Gallery

Author/Illustrator: Brian Wildsmith
Publisher: Candlewick, 1967, 1968, 2008, first US edition 2020
Themes: animals, nomenclature

Opening: see spread above.

Summary: (from my library’s catalog) Discover a troop of kangaroos, an ambush of tigers, a rafter of turkeys, and a flotilla of swordfish in this glorious introduction to the animal kingdom from internationally acclaimed artist Brian Wildsmith. A lion yawns lazily in the grass. Curious giraffes crane their long necks. Step into this rich world of animals from an extraordinary illustrator whose work influenced generations of younger artists. Each animal’s essence is strikingly captured, from the playfulness of otters to a noisy gathering of parrots, while panoramic pictures give a real sense of the animals’ habitats. Collective nouns — some familiar, others wonderfully surprising — are used to describe each group of animals. Brian Wildsmith’s stunning illustrations will inspire a love of nature and a respect for animals from the earliest age.

I picked this book because: today Wildsmith’s images are knocking the gray out of my sky! the energy alone is enough to send the warmth straight to my toes, but combined with his mastery of color, texture, composition, atmosphere, and emotion it just doesn’t get better than this!

Resources/activities: look up group names for all your favorite animals and read companion picture books featuring group names, like Julie Hedlund’s A Troop is a Group of Monkeys (2013); paint your favorite group using a mixture of different media – and don’t forget fun textures!

For more Perfect Picture Book Friday picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE.