Thursday 15 October 2015

Book Review - Famous Animals by Katie Stewart

There's a tradition with good children's books where they can be enjoyed by both adults as well as children and this book fits nicely into that category. The premise is a delightfully simple and fun one - famous people from history are re-imagined as animals and this leads to some amusing puns.

As well as the humour in the names the book has two strong pillars, the first are the illustrations. These are simply fantastic and there's a real talent on display here. They're bold and accessible as you'd expect from a children's book, but there's also some great detail there and each character is lovingly rendered.

As well as the illustrations each character is accompanied by facts about the historical personage and the animal they have been blended with. All of the persons featured in this book are deserving of their place and I was pleased to see that one of my favourite writers - Edgar Allan Poe, or in this case Edgar Allan Hippo, is featured.

I liked the style of the presentation and the facts are explained in a clear way without being condescending - a trap all too easy to fall into when writing for children. Usually at this stage in a review I talk about the aspects that I didn't like, but in this case my only complaint is that it isn't long enough. It's a charming idea and excellently done!

Click on image to buy from Amazon

What happens when you combine a love of art, animals and history with a sense of humour? You get a book that is delightfully different.

Famous Animals is an alternative history, an artistic peek at the world of such remarkable animals as Felix Mendelswann, Joan Aardvark and Luciano Pavaratti. At the same time, it takes a biographical look at some equally noteworthy humans.

A book that will appeal to young and old alike.

Click here to buy Famous Animals from Amazon (and it's a charming read)