An anthology of Picasso’s animal sketches from various collections including birds, insects, and various mammals.
With pencil and ink reproduced on backgrounds that look like aging white paper (just like the originals), these drawings display a childlike spontaneity. With very few marks, Picasso reduced the animals down to their most basic forms; many look as though they were drawn with one stroke of a pen. An ostrich consists of one leg, a long neck and beak, and a circular scribble at the rear for a tail, and a horse consists of three downward strokes for legs, a boot-shaped head, and two circles at the top of the legs for shoulder and haunch. While his technique is impressive by any standard, the primary audience for board books, babies and toddlers, are still learning to identify each animals’ basic qualities, and these sketches may not serve that goal. Each image is paired with a phrase or sentence at the bottom of the page, often sharing facts both obvious and surprising. (The text is uncredited.) The backmatter includes a short biography of Picasso and much-too-small-to-be-useful facsimiles of the original drawings the sketches were pulled from.
Simultaneously simple and sophisticated—but not for the baby and toddler board-book crowd; older preschoolers learning to make their own representational drawings will be inspired. (Board book. 3-5)