Brian Wildsmith's Animal Gallery by Brian Wildsmith
  

Brian Wildsmith's Animal Gallery

Written by Brian Wildsmith

3+ readers   Baby and Toddler   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

In this stunning visual introduction to all kinds of animal families Brian Wildsmith’s jewel-bright illustrations give a snapshot of everything from a pride of lions to a company of parrots and a party of rainbow fish. These are pictures to pore over again and again and again.

Lovereading comment:

Here at lovereading4kids we were thrilled to see that Wildsmith’s publisher in the UK was bringing out new editions of his classic picture books. Animal Gallery is quite simply breathtaking. It’s a glorious visual introduction to the animal kingdom that will inspire a love of nature and a respect for animals from the earliest age and delight toddlers everywhere.

Brian Wildsmith on his illustrations:
‘Picture books give an opportunity for a marriage between painting and illustrating . . . I believe that beautiful picture books of the right kind are vitally important in subconsciously forming a child’s appreciation, which will bear fruit in later life.’

Tributes to Brian Wildsmith:

‘Brian Wildsmith is one of the most original and influential picture book makers in the world, particularly in his use of colour and space.’ Anthony Browne, Children’s Laureate 2009-2011

‘I have always known Brian Wildsmith’s work. His illustrations are visually exciting and lively, full of activity and colour. Combined with the composition, I find them truly amazing.’ Catherine Rayner, Kate Greenaway Medal winner 2009

‘My childhood was full of books but just as the sixties burst into life, there seemed to be something similar happening in children’s books. Floods of colour exploding across the pages with a name to match: Wildsmith. He was a wild smith. I remember feeling really envious: why hadn’t I had books as lush and wild as these?’ Michael Rosen, Children’s Laureate 2007-2009

Synopsis

Brian Wildsmith's Animal Gallery by Brian Wildsmith

Discover a lepe of leopards, a company of parrots, and a stream of minnows in this glorious visual introduction to the animal kingdom sumptuously illustrated by internationally acclaimed picture-book artist, Brian Wildsmith. This beautiful book will delight young animal lovers. Through evocative paintings, children are brought face to face with wildlife from around the world. Brian Wildsmith has captured the essence of each animal - from the playfulness of otters to a noisy gathering of parrots. His panoramic pictures also give a real sense of the animals' habitats - from a sun-soaked plain where elephants roam to icy Antarctica where penguins huddle together. Collective nouns - some familiar, others wonderfully surprising - are used to describe each group of animals. This is a book that will inspire a love of nature and a respect for animals from the earliest age.

Reviews

Animal Gallery is quite simply breathtaking. lovereading4kids.co.uk His explorations of the natural world offer rich visual experiences. The baby owl's feathers ... have a thistledown texture that makes you want to blow on the page ... Fishes are speckled, stippled and splattered, and-with the subtle stained-glass luminosity of the underwater world-are as much paintings in their own right as they are illustrations. The Guardian His paintings allow us to step into lush landscapes Korky Paul, Sunday Express S Magazine

About the Author

Brian Wildsmith

Brian Wildsmith died on 31 August 2016 aged 86 in Grasse, France. He won himself a world-wide reputation as one of the greatest living children's illustrators.

He was born on 22nd January 1930 and raised in a small mining village near Sheffield. He won a scholarship to the Slade School of Fine Art, London where he studied for three years. He later taught maths at the Royal Military School of Music but gave it up so that he could pursue his passion for painting.

Wildsmith began working with Oxford University Press in the late 1950s when children’s publisher, Mabel George, commissioned him to illustrate 12 colour plates for Tales from the Arabian Nights. This was followed by ABC, published in 1961, which won the Kate Greenaway Medal.

Wildsmith’s "fruitful and creative" collaboration with OUP continued after George's retirement in 1974 with the appointment of Ron Heapy as publisher, a role which he held for more than 20 years. During this period Wildsmith produced some of his best-loved and best-known titles, including A Christmas Story and Cat on the Mat.

Since 2007 – the year that marked the centenary of children’s publishing at OUP – a number of Wildsmith’s books have been brought back into print, including his illustrated anthology of nursery rhymes, originally published in 1964, and his vivid imagining of The Twelve Days of Christmas, which first appeared in 1972. During the course of his long-standing association with OUP, Wildsmith wrote and illustrated more than 80 books.

A spokesperson for OUP said of Wildsmith: "He was an immensely thoughtful, compassionate, and perceptive man and these qualities touched all those at Oxford University Press who had the privilege to work with him over the years."

Wildsmith, who moved to France with his family in 1971, lost his wife, Aurélie, in 2015. He is survived by his four children, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Brian Wildsmith on his illustrations:

‘Picture books give an opportunity for a marriage between painting and illustrating . . . I believe that beautiful picture books of the right kind are vitally important in subconsciously forming a child’s appreciation, which will bear fruit in later life.’

Tributes to Brian Wildsmith:

Author Michael Rosen (Children’s Laureate 2007-2009) said of Wildsmith: "Floods of colour exploding across the pages with a name to match: Wildsmith. He was a wild smith. I remember feeling envious: why hadn’t I had books as wild and lush as these?"

Picture-book maker, Catherine Rayner, (Kate Greenaway Medal winner 2009) has also long been inspired by Wildsmith's work. She said: "The balance he managed to create between the character in a storybook and the real creature is perfect. His illustrations provide a lively eyeful of activity and colour along with imaginative composition, which I find truly amazing."

‘Brian Wildsmith was one of the most original and influential picture book makers in the world, particularly in his use of colour and space.’ Anthony Browne, Children’s Laureate 2009-2011

Korky Paul on Brian Wildsmith:

'Brian Wildsmith's work came out in the 1960s and he changed picture books. It was revolutionary stuff. One of his best books is The Hare and the Tortoise. He uses his own colours. He plays with scale, and his animals have characters: roosters strut their stuff, chickens are always eating, cats always sleeping.

'What I like about his work is his wonderful use of white space; there are raggedy edges and extraordinary detail. He uses a mixture of media: watercolour, wash, then he works on top with chalk or pen. There is a lot of movement there.

'My work is more spiky, but I love trying to create a fantasy world and to stylise it. Children's books allow artists of all kinds to explore their own vision, how they see the world, and that's what Wildsmith achieves so well. Exposing children to that teaches them that there are all sorts of ways of viewing the world.' (The Guardian)

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Book Info

Format

Paperback
48 pages

Author

Brian Wildsmith
More books by Brian Wildsmith

Author's Website

brianwildsmith.com/

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Publication date

1st March 2010

ISBN

9780192727947

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