Self-published in the author's native Great Britain in 2010, this A to Z bestiary enchants with expressive, painterly monoprints that either retain their charcoal-like quality or are digitally colorized. The visual diversity extends to the level of realism on each spread: a male-female pair of quails is encyclopedia-ready, while a hammerhead shark wears a tool belt. Viggers depicts several animals solo—e.g. the gorilla, koala, and tarsier—in arch, close-up portraits that convey a rich sense of each creature's personality. Subtle humor and informative tidbits animate the text: B stands not just for bears, but for all eight species of them, from sun to panda (the latter munches on alphabetically convenient bamboo). Seven types of penguins are identified by name and form a courtly tableau, with the Fjordland penguin shading the king penguin with a parasol, while an Adélie solicits an autograph and the Galapagos snaps a paparazzo photo. So, why the "almost" of the title? It might have something to do with those "nighttime," "underground," and "yeti" spreads, each of which is integrated seamlessly. Ages 3–7. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013 Release date: 10/01/2013 Genre: Children's
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.