The Wonder Garden

Jenny Broom, illus. by Kristjana S. Williams. Quarto/Wide Eyed Editions, $30 (48p) ISBN 978-1-84780-703-8
After entering the ornamental, golden gates of the “Wonder Garden,” readers explore five habitats: the Chihuahuan Desert, Amazon Rainforest, Black Forest, Himalayan Mountains, and Great Barrier Reef. Within each setting, Williams presents intricately detailed engravings of 80 mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects, spiked with vibrant shades of fuchsia and carmine. Broom supplements the illustrations with facts about the species and lively descriptions of their environments written in second-person, amplifying a sense of adventure and intrigue: “Head to the riverbank, and if you catch a flash of copper and cobalt, it could be a kingfisher.” While Williams’s style is naturalistic, her collagelike juxtapositions provide splashes of the fantastical, as jaguars rest on giant cactus blossoms and butterflies blanket the pages like a snow flurry. An enchanting tour of the animal kingdom that makes the world’s biodiversity feel downright magical. Ages 7–10. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/10/2015
Release date: 09/03/2015
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 48 pages - 978-1-84780-647-5
Hardcover - 978-2-7459-6124-2
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