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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Ingela P. Arhenius
Age Range: Under_5
At first glance this might appear to be simply another book about animals, but this large format title, (measuring 34 x 46 cm), is truly a work of art. There are many different types of animals featured here including: zebra, rooster, wolf, bear, snake, flamingo, elephant, cat, cow, sheep, rabbit, crocodile, meerkat, hippo, grasshopper, turtle, frog, dog, giraffe, boar, mouse, fox, owl, gorilla, pig, toucan, whale, deer, lion, badger, koala and tiger.
The lack of a story serves as an excuse for the reader to concentrate and savour the superb design of the book and the sophisticated colour illustrations.
Each page has a picture of an animal, representing an exquisite piece of artwork. The page featuring a cat, for example, where the composition and arrangement of colours have been meticulously planned so that the word ‘cat’, (which is the only word featured on the page), coloured in red and black, mirrors the ears, nose and body of the animal against the effective yellow background. Every single aspect of this picture book has been masterfully designed; the end papers have pictures of all the animals featured, but in different colours, (mainly pale blue, pink and brown), so that the reader can compare these with those from the original work.
Swedish author and illustrator Ingela P Arrhenius has always loved the colours of the 1950’s and 1960’s so there is a real retro feel to the illustrations. This is the only title so far published by Walker Books but there are other titles (including novelty books and merchandise items) that are available from Amazon.