An illustrated menagerie.
I don’t think I’ve ever met a kid that doesn’t love drawing animals, both real and cryptozoological. My own kids have gone through phases; camels, dogs, giraffes and ladybugs have all had their moments in the sun. Recently I’ve found my kids googling animals to use as references, but Google’s results are rarely inspiring. Looking for a better solution, I found The Animalarium a Florence-based website that has been cataloging fantastical animal illustration since 2009. Animalarium pulls images from a wide catalog of sources all around animal themes. Looking for lobsters? No problem. Dragons? Check. Snails? Animalarium’s got your number. All posts are tagged so it’s easy to find the animal you’re looking for. In studying the wildly different ways of illustrating one creature, idea, or story (check out this great Red Riding Hood post), my kids are often inspired to add their own versions in their own distinct voices. My kids have loved exploring Animalarium and it has spark great discussions around modes of perception, authorship, and artist’s voice.