Paul Thurlby's Wildlife

Overview

See the wild lives of animals in this stylish picture book.

Did you know that crocodiles cry while they eat? Or that polar bears turn green if they stay hot for too long? Or that bees do a dance to speak to one another? See wildlife as you’ve never seen it before with Paul Thurlby’s menagerie of curious animals. With unique and humorous artwork that’s so stylish you’ll want to remove it from the book and hang it on your wall, Paul Thurlby brings to life twenty-three animals in a...

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Overview

See the wild lives of animals in this stylish picture book.

Did you know that crocodiles cry while they eat? Or that polar bears turn green if they stay hot for too long? Or that bees do a dance to speak to one another? See wildlife as you’ve never seen it before with Paul Thurlby’s menagerie of curious animals. With unique and humorous artwork that’s so stylish you’ll want to remove it from the book and hang it on your wall, Paul Thurlby brings to life twenty-three animals in a way that will appeal to readers of all ages.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Following Paul Thurlby's Alphabet, the eponymous artist weds a cartoon aesthetic with a graphic-art style in handsome compositions that feature anthropomorphic animals in weathered, faux-vintage illustrations with the feel of offbeat WPA posters. Facts about the animals appear beneath each illustration: “Kangaroos balance on their tails to kick with both feet,” writes Thurlby, as a kangaroo wearing a fierce expression and a karate uniform performs a move against a green graph-paper backdrop. The boldly styled animals—which include a disco-dancing bee, a bear sitting on a toilet in the woods, and a crocodile wiping away tears as it gnaws on a human leg—offer quirky fun on each page. Ages 5–up. Agent: Jean Sagendorph, Mansion Street Literary Management. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
Deceptively simple at first glance—or even first reading—this collection of short phrases paired with bold illustrations and basic facts rewards close examination...Wordplay, visual jokes and strong design combine to create another winner for Thurlby—and readers.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Children's Literature - Kris Sauer
Did you know that bees talk to one another by dancing in patterns? Did you know that rats spend a third of their lives washing themselves? How about that every dog has a unique nose print? These animal facts and many more can be found in this delightful picture book. Printed on heavy paper with a retro style, each page features one animal and a fascinating, little-known fact about it. The art is reminiscent of 1940s posters, with strong graphic prints and simple slogans on each. Do not be fooled by the simplistic style, however. There is far more to each page than initially meets the eye. Almost every page features a delightful twist, either a play on words to go with the text or a visual pun that enhances the highlighted animal fact. For example, the fact that rabbits are very nearsighted is presented with an image of a rabbit perched inside a black top hat, presumably belonging to a magician. The rabbit's eyes are closed and the slogan for the page is "Turn a blind eye." This is all very amusing in itself, but a closer look reveals that the rabbit's ears are shaped to look like eyeglasses. This is a wonderful book, one to be read and reread, pored over and enjoyed. A definite hit among kids of all ages, the book would be an entertaining, but instructional addition to any animal studies unit. Reviewer: Kris Sauer
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4—A menagerie of animals is introduced in this innovative read-aloud. Though there's no documentation, the snippets of information provide unique facts about 24 individual species; for example, "monkeys split bananas from the bottom up-it's easier that way!" Blocky digital cartoon characters saturated in rich colors against faded backgrounds vibrantly exemplify each unique trait; a bee dances disco under a honey hive while the text reads, "Bees talk to one another by dancing in patterns." Visual details will elicit chuckles from the audience; a review of a bear's digestive process during hibernation depicts a helpful porcupine offering a sheet of tissue paper (the Bear Butts brand) while the animal reads on the toilet. In one slightly macabre scene, the crocodile opens his massive jaws while a hairy leg dangles in his mouth; a few drops of blood impress upon readers the seriousness of the situation. Playful typography adds to the drama. Bold, chunky letters emphasize the punch line ("FEED it and WEEP") while a single sentence offers a brief scientific statement: "Chewing makes crocodiles' tear ducts spill watery droplets." While the animal facts are more elucidating than the brief mention of the human race ("Humans' intelligence means we can do things that other animals cannot-like read this book!"), there's much here to devour. A delightful choice to whet youngsters' imaginations while exploring the wackier world of wildlife.—Meg Smith, Cumberland County Public Library, Fayetteville, NC
Kirkus Reviews
Fans of Thurlby's recent distinguished entry on the crowded alphabet-book shelves (Paul Thurlby's Alphabet, 2011) won't be disappointed by this clever follow-up. Deceptively simple at first glance--or even first reading--this collection of short phrases paired with bold illustrations and basic facts rewards close examination. From the striped tiger on the cover, peering at potential readers through binoculars, through single-page portraits of other animals--among them a partially green polar bear, Travolta-esque bee (circa Saturday Night Fever), and wary dolphin--and finally to an inquisitive little boy, Thurlby packs the pages with humor. The bee, like all the other illustrations, is accompanied by two captions: "Express yourself" and "Bees talk to one another by dancing in patterns." The first appears on the picture and in most cases is a familiar phrase, whether transcribed exactly, in pun form or created using homonyms. The second offers a bit of information about the animal pictured as well as providing the inspiration for the artwork. Digitally created, the pictures incorporate elements of painting, collage and printmaking and in some cases include (almost) hidden words or images. Visual jokes, such as a shovel-bodied mole, a nearsighted rabbit's ears (which look like glasses) and a sunbathing goldfish, further enrich the fun. Wordplay, visual jokes and strong design combine to create another winner for Thurlby--and readers. (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763665630
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 3/26/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 721,306
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Thurlby’s graphic style has gathered a great deal of attention. He is the author and illustrator of Paul Thurlby’s Alphabet, as well as a regular contributor to British newspapers the Guardian, the Times, and the Independent, among others. He lives in London.
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