Imported from Germany, an album of mountains, with tributes to those who scale them, portraits of flora and fauna that live on them, and related topics.
As Braun covers his subject in no very systematic way and often wanders some distance off course, it’s his faceted, vividly hued landscapes and figures that will (as in Wild Animals of the North and Wild Animals of the South, 2016 and 2017) be the main draw. In between soaring portraits of 20 tall or otherwise renowned peaks and rocky formations, he intersperses wildlife portraits—the snow leopard being particularly magnificent—along with equipment layouts for climbers and for skiers. He also ventures down into caves and across the Gobi Desert, pausing to admire several scenic wonders from Antarctic icebergs to mountain sculptures including Petra, Mount Rushmore, and the Crazy Horse Memorial. To give a sense of scale he places the Eiffel Tower and Great Pyramid next to Uluru in one scene and, just for fun, in another slips in a pair of hulking yeti. The accompanying notes are likewise scattershot, offering nuggets of information that can feel arbitrary. Aside from stately Maasai and Aboriginal men in ceremonial dress and quick nods to renowned mountaineers Edmund Hilary, Tenzing Norgay, and Reinhold Messner, human figures are too stylized to detect their ethnicities.
Unfocused but nevertheless gifted with bold visuals and a beguiling sense of appreciation for nature’s beauties. (glossary) (Informational picture book. 6-11)