Magnificent Creatures: Animals on the Move: Book Review

Magnificent Creatures Animals on the move book review

What is this about?: Magnificent creatures on the move, of course! This is an utterly lovely picture book about animals with art by Anna Wright in a most unusual way.

What else is this about?: What I said about is pretty much all there is.

Stars: 5.

Blurb: Both informative and visually stunning, this beautiful introduction to the animal world will sit alongside the best of Faber’s heritage publishing as well as other masterpieces of illustration such as William Grill’s Shackleton.

Anna Wright’s stunning introduction to non-fiction and the natural world is enlivened by her gorgeously sophisticated and fun art style which mixes pen and ink, watercolour and fabric collage. Find out what ‘pronking’ is and how one jellyfish can become two in the humourous descriptions. Both educational and beautiful Anna’s unique picture book shows the character of these animals beyond their familiar forms.

I have nephews, who at 18 months old have discovered picture books. They’re enraptured by them and currently discovering animals, which made me think they might like Magnificent Creatures.

I was curious about something the write-up for the book said — about the author and illustrator playing with patterns and textures in her art. And sure enough, Anna Wright does explain in the forward (I guess) that she uses fabric and feather textures in her art which creates a whole different experience for readers.

But most of all, what I enjoyed was that the book surprised me — the magnificent creatures were nothing like I expected. The usual suspects — lions, elephants etc — weren’t included in the book, but herring, fireflies, crabs and  springbok to name a few are.

Not that usual suspects aren’t wonderfully magnificent, but they are the usual suspects for a reason. So I enjoyed that my nephews would see different types of creatures. Each creature has two pages of gorgeous art, coupled with a few sentences about their behaviour, where they live and any other titbits of interesting information — like some if a jellyfish is cute in two, the pieces will survive and create new jellyfish.

Good right? That sort of difference is what make books stick in kid’s minds, I hope! What do you think of Magnificent Creatures?


  • Kelly says:

    I love children’s books that are out of the ordinary, there’s more than enough books about farm animals in the world and the illustrations look breathtaking! I had no idea about jellyfish, that’s the same as worms I believe. If you cut one in two, it lives on as two separate worms. Nature is amazing and a little creepy to be honest. I might grab a copy and set aside for my own children one day. Thanks so much for sharing Verushka <3

  • Wow, this sounds like an absolutely lovely picture book! Sometimes I think that this style of picture book (sophisticated art, muted tones, etc.) appeals more to adult readers than to kids, but this one sounds perfect with the info about the animals’ behaviour, etc. Definitely going to check to see if we have this at the library and order it if not!

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