“I have a very special family,” claims the unnamed narrator shown in the cover family portrait.
Indeed she does. Each double-page spread in this oversized album shows a different member of this girl’s family as a wild animal. Her older brother is an elephant, her little brother’s a sparrow, her mother’s a giraffe, and so on. Her two best friends are included, as well. Each portrayal is a separate scene in which the nonanthropomorphic animal is pictured among humans in a realistically rendered setting: a playground, a classroom, a busy city street. Moreau’s graphically flat paintings, done with gouache, have simple lines and a primitive perspective, but they’re full of things to look at and some surprising details. At the far end of the dinner table over which a hungry bear (“my uncle”) presides, a child is feeding the dog. On the bus, her grandfather (an antlered stag) “always gets up so ladies may have a seat.” But is that a rat running alongside? Liberal use of red outlines adds energy. These images show well from a distance, making this an especially good choice for preschool storytime. Published in France in 2013 as Ma Famille Sauvage, this welcome import crosses the Atlantic with ease.
Sure to inspire young readers and listeners to comparisons of their own. (Picture book. 3-5)