Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Small and Tall Tales of Extinct Animals

I've been WOWed by Gecko Press that many times, and here is yet another spectacular publication from them. It just doesn't get better than this when it comes to educational reads. Small and Tall Tales of Extinct Animals by Hélène Rajcak & Damien Laverdunt is likely to be my pick of kids' books for 2012. It is an extremely beautiful, visual journey around a world of extinct animals. Be awed by the scale of some of these creatures; I just love the size comparison at the top right corner of each double-page spread. A child only needs to glance at it and he/she will be drawn into the book in wonder. Imagine the fear of living alongside the enormous Haast's Eagle who had a wingspan of 3 metres and swooped down upon large prey at more than 80 km an hour!  Be awed by the Giant Ground Sloth - a whole 3 tonnes in weight! Giggle over the quirkily named Tratratratra, or be saddened by the loss of the fascinating dwarf elephant, the glyptodon, and the dodo.
But the reason you find this book on Kitty as a Picture is because of its astounding illustrations by Hélène Rajcak.  Her detailed naturalist drawings are nothing short of stunning. A neat layout ensures the reader remains interested and engaged. I love it!

Hélène uses a really classy colour palette of mostly earthy tones offset by vibrant colour such as lime, aqua, or an eye-catching olive or orange. It's extremely effective.
(note: the colours look slightly different in digital format)  

 All animals fit into one of four categories: The Americas, Africa, Eurasia, and Oceania. Each includes a full page illustration, an explanation, a scale indicator and a comic-strip - often introducing mythological content. It all adds up to make an extremely beautiful and captivating read. I adore this book. It is beautifully produced in a large size, exquisitely illustrated, and utterly awe-inspiring. Every child should have one!

Small & Tall Tales of Extinct Animals
By Hélène Rajcak & Damien Laverdun
320 x 250mm
80 pages
ISBN: 978-1-877467-90-5

Thanks to Gecko Press for allowing Kitty as a Picture Illusration and Surface Design Blog to publish these images.

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