cover image Anonymouse


Vikki VanSickle, illus. by Anna Pirolli. Tundra, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7352-6394-9

Move over, Banksy—there’s a new single-name, never-seen street artist in town. His tag is Anonymouse, and his work, executed in pink spray paint, has a very particular audience in mind: the animals trying to eke out an existence in an often hostile urban landscape. Pirolli’s (I Hate My Cats [A Love Story]) poetic digital artwork shows how Anonymouse turns a cluster of rooftop satellite dishes into large pink blossoms, attracting the admiration of birds and pollinators; paints targets on the bases of lamp posts to tickle the canine community’s funny bones; and offers pointed jabs at humans, spray-painting tall leafy shadows onto a wall to mourn two felled trees whose absence denies a home to squirrels. Anonymouse eventually moves on, and “the art faded, became obscured or disappeared completely,” writes VanSickle (Teddy Bear of the Year)—but his art’s affirmation of the animals’ lives isn’t forgotten. The animals “looked at the city in a whole new way” and take up his artistic mantle. It’s a thoroughly original fable about art’s revitalizing power, and the capacity of all living things to yearn for and create joy. Ages 3–7. [em](Feb.) [/em]