Everybody has a favorite animal. Some like little white dogs or big black cats or hoppy brown bunnies best. Others prefer squishy snails or tall giraffes or sleek black panthers. With beautiful illustrations and charming personal stories, 14 children's book artists share their favorite animals and why they love them.Read more...
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Everybody has a favorite animal. Some like little white dogs or big black cats or hoppy brown bunnies best. Others prefer squishy snails or tall giraffes or sleek black panthers. With beautiful illustrations and charming personal stories, 14 children's book artists share their favorite animals and why they love them.
- Eric Carle
- Nick Bruel
- Lucy Cousins
- Susan Jeffers
- Steven Kellogg
- Jon Klassen
- Tom Lichtenheld
- Peter McCarty
- Chris Raschka
- Peter Sis
- Lane Smith
- Erin Stead
- Rosemary Wells
- Mo Willems
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-10-21
- Reviewer: Staff
Answers to this classic kid question arrive courtesy of 14 top illustrators including Lucy Cousins, Jon Klassen, Chris Raschka, and Lane Smith; the contributions range from meticulously rendered artwork to quick, funny sketches, along with commentaries that can be elegiac, nostalgic, silly, and even meta. Carle creates one of his signature collages to evoke Fiffi, a black cat who shared his apartment in Greenwich Village. Mo Willems asserts that his favorite animal is “an Amazonian Neotropical Lower River Tink-Tink” (drawn as a bump inside a big, hungry snake), while Rosemary Wells muses on the five positions favored by the white terrier who shares her bed. Nick Bruel breaks down the fourth wall—and probably a fifth and sixth wall, as well—as he argues with his narcissistic antihero Bad Kitty over his animal choice (“Okay then Kitty. What’s YOUR favorite animal? MEATLOAF?”) and then tries to flatter Carle into giving him an octopus. A varied and engaging omnibus that offers real insight into the lives and personalities of these artists. Royalties benefit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)
An artist's gallery from Eric Carle
Eric Carle asked a handful of children’s illustrators a question: What’s Your Favorite Animal? The answers are creative jewels by 14 beloved artists, including Mo Willems, Rosemary Wells, Lane Smith and Jon Klassen. Children and adults alike will enjoy the varied responses, each on a two-page spread, including anecdotes, childhood memories and more—all with illustrations, of course.
For example, Nick Bruel, creator of the wonderful Bad Kitty books, begins seriously, with an intriguing pictorial essay titled, “Behold the Octopus,” about the marvels of these eight-legged creatures. Bad Kitty quickly intervenes, outraged at being left out, and the resulting interchange between the wide-eyed feline and his creator is hilarious.
Peter Sís recalls growing up in the Czech Republic, where residents traditionally eat carp on Christmas Eve. Sís describes people buying live carp from barrels in the street, then putting them in their bathtubs to keep them fresh. Often, he says, children become attached to these new “pets.” Sís explains: “You would see many families coming with their carps to the river and blue fish swimming toward the ocean. This gave us all hope! So my favorite creature of hope is the blue carp.”
Carle writes about his cat Fiffi’s treasured string bean (of all things). Susan Jeffers recalls her childhood dreams of white horses, while Steven Kellogg tells of wallpapering his room with drawings of cows.
What’s Your Favorite Animal? is a great way to explore a variety of children’s illustrators (short bios are included). Extend the enjoyment by grabbing several books by each of these artists, and you’ll be ready for a lengthy session of excellent children’s literature.