Xavier Deneux is a master of monochrome, as My Animals proves.
Using a bold black-and-white palette – only occasionally punctuated by a flash of red of a butterfly, the green of a leaf or the blue of a sky – the holes in each boardbook page link images together: a branch on a tree becomes a frog’s smile, a panda’s eyes and nose become the spots on a giraffe. All the animal families get a look in: mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians have at least one representative, and the various habitats – farmyard, household and wild – are all covered too. A more truly global round-up of My Animals you could not hope to find.
Perfectly sized, with a soft foam cover, and thick, glossy cardboard pages, this book can stand up to the most ruthless of young readers.
Illustrator Profile A widely published children’s author and illustrator in France, Xavier Deneux’s work focuses particularly on imagiers – books of illustrated lists of objects sorted by themes, which are common in France. Always using a bold, but limited colour pallette, his works often incorporate textured elements for little hands to play with. My Animals is one of his few English titles, alongside its sister-title My Circus.