When I first touched The Wonder Garden, my heart literally skipped a beat. As a long time fan of the work of Kristjana S Williams, owning a book full of her magical landscapes with exotic creatures is the next best thing to owning one of Kristjana’s iconic prints.
The Wonder Garden is written by Jenny Broom and published by the über cool Wide Eyed Editions. Discovering this publisher, a new imprint of The Quarto Group, was another highlight. Aimed at children and families, they believe that “books should encourage curiosity about the world we live in, inspiring readers to set out on their own journey of discovery.” I literally want everything in their catalogue.
Just look at this luscious cover. The imagery, colouring and gold foil creates a most magical effect.
I’ve always been curious to know how Kristjana produces these intricate illustrative worlds. She interweaves fragments of Victorian engravings with contemporary illustration and colouring.
The book explores five extraordinary habitats and the amazing creatures that live in them, expertly brought to life with Kristjana’s illustration.
I concentrated more on showing details of Kristjana’s intricate work rather than simply photographing full spreads. The colours, the details and the printing are extraordinary. The illustrations are created digitally and I’ve rarely seen such high quality digital printing where the neon colours pop like this.
If you thought this book is just for kids, think again. There’s lots of creatures I hadn’t heard of before and am enjoying brushing up on the various habitats and their inhabitants.
I’ve so far waded through the Amazon Rainforest, dived in the Great Barrier Reef and explored the Himalayan Mountains, while rejoicing in Krisjana’s abundant visual storytelling.
This large format book will proudly adorn my shelves and serve as a huge inspiration to my sketching explorations. Just look at this work!
The Wonder Garden copyright © Aurum Press Ltd 2015
Illustrations copyright ©Kristjana S Williams 2015
I predict The Wonder Garden will be a talking point and bestseller for Christmas. I cannot recommend it highly enough to anyone who is curious about the world we live in, whether young or old and enjoys breathtaking engraved illustrations!
A thank you goes to Wide Eyed Editions for my copy.