Animal Gallery by Brian Wildsmith

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Animal Gallery by Brian Wildsmith

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: A beautiful collection of animal paintings tied together with their collective nouns. Animal Gallery is a minimal and delightful book for young kids to lose themselves in.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 48 Date: March 2010
Publisher: OUP Oxford
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0192727947

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Starting off with a crash of rhinoceroses, through a corps of giraffes, a hover of trout, and ending up with a dray of squirrels, Brian Wildsmith treats us to a beautiful look at collections of animals.

As far as text goes, Animal Gallery is as minimal as they come - just the collective noun of all sorts of different types of animals. They're well-chosen though, with delicious words to trip off the tongue like sedge and skulk, flotilla and lepe. The mix of animals is enjoyable too, with the ones young kids will already know mingling with unexpected ones like angelfish and herons. There's plenty of opportunity for interesting discussions about the animals.

The highlight is Brian Wildsmith's illustrations. There's page after page of sumptuous paintings of animals in their habitats. It's a book to pore over and let wash over you. It's called Animal Gallery and it does exactly what it says on the tin. It's just beautiful. Given its minimal text, it's best-suited for the very youngest book fans, but such is the quality that it will strike a chord with those a little older too. Those who are just too young to read for themselves will be able to 'read it to themselves', taking the important early steps towards literacy.

It's not the sort of book you'll want to read again and again, but it doesn't set out to be. It's a book to have, to treasure, and to pick up from the bookshelf every now and then and really enjoy. Warmly recommended.

My Animals by Xavier Deneux takes a less realistic view of animals, but it's an utterly gorgeous book. It Was Bedtime In The Jungle by John Butler is an animal counting book in a similar vein to Animal Gallery. For sheer beauty, look no further than Where Is Home, Little Pip? by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. If you're learning all about animals, then it's never too soon to get to grips with evolution, which One Smart Fish by Chris Wormell handles perfectly. For something Christmassy from Wildsmith, try A Christmas Story by Brian Wildsmith or if you'd like something about animals, try Cat on the Mat and Friends.

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Buy Animal Gallery by Brian Wildsmith at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Animal Gallery by Brian Wildsmith at


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