ANNIE AND THE WILD ANIMALS
Jan Brett is a gifted illustrator. Her pictures will transport you to another place, like Norway or Russia or one of the many other places Brett has visited. To capture cultures accurately, she travels. The globetrotter will make you yearn for a trip to some isolated cottage where you can cavort in nature for entertainment. After reading one of her books, I want to move to Belgium or the Swiss Alps. I just do.
Her pictures show the world through the lens of an imaginative child. Snow blankets the ground, covers the tops of evergreen trees and is embedded with animal footprints. Wild animals look realistic and friendly, pensive creatures who might hold an opinion of you. The girl in the story lives in a cabin at the edge of the woods and you can nearly smell the cedar all around her.
Jan Brett’s magnificence is in her illustrations, but she’s a good writer too.
The story is about a little girl who can’t find her cat, Taffy. Since she lives in a cabin at the edge of the woods, she has no other companions. Without her cat, she’s lonely. Not one to sit and wallow, she devises a plan to find a playmate. Surely, there’s an animal in the woods she can play with.
She sets treats at the edge of the woods to lure another animal. Follow her journey as she encounters all kinds of animals—scary, rare, ferocious, prickly, rambunctious…until finally Taffy returns with some little critters to add to the family.
Jan’s Brett’s prose invokes images of nature. She uses uncommon words, like “commotion” that will build your child’s vocabulary. There is something magical about a writer who is also an illustrator—the words and pictures sprout from one mastermind. Brett writes and draws to inspire readers to peer into the life of someone in another part of the world, someone with connections to tradition, nature and generally, the old way of life, unadulterated by smartphones.
ABOUT JAN BRETT
Jan Brett is a prolific children’s author. All of her books have beautiful pictures. She sets her books in specific locations, like Salzburg, Austria or Hingham, Massachusetts. Annie and the Wild Animals is set in Kittery, Maine. Before she draws pictures, she travels to the location, analyzes the terrain, people, and culture and tries her best to accurately depict each place.