The Curious Explorer’s Guide to Exotic Animals A to Z by Marc Martin

Marc martin is fast becoming one of my favourite picture book makers. Check out my reviews of his picture books, A River and the beautiful story of a seagull – Max.

For this nonfiction title, Marc Martin has partnered up with my favourite publisher of nonfiction children’s book, big Picture Press.

The book does what it says on the tin, it’s an A to Z of exotic animals. But what is really remarkable about this book is the illustrative work of Marc Martin. The animals depicted fit somewhere on the spectrum, between Miro’s surrealist creatures and reality. Marc martin manages to create a sense of magic realism (like an exaggerated version of our actual response to exotic animals). Each composition is surprising and ultimately, pleasing on the eye. The illustrations are rich in colour and full of texture.

A beautiful, beautiful book.

Published by Big Picture Press.

A River By Marc Martin


Marc Martin‘s illustrative style gives me a feeling of warmth and nostalgia. His countryside landscapes feel like patchwork quilts sewn together with graphite and gouache, his industrial landscapes are cluttered with painted traffic and concrete. The artwork has a textural quality that make his picture books slide off the bookshelf into your willing hands.

Marc’s latest picture book, ‘A River‘ is a story about the power of the imagination. It’s a story we can all relate to, a young girl stares out of her window, daydreaming. She sets off on a journey along a river, through a busy jungle, down a cascading waterfall and across a vast, open ocean. The girl and her boat are dwarfed by the landscapes she travels through all connected by the river. The simple story is poetic and beautiful.

Maybe it’s a story about looking beyond oneself.

Published by Templar Publishing


Max by Marc Martin

I love this book, the front cover is brilliant, the typography, colours, layout and illustrations are very satisfying to look at. Open the book and Marc Martin amazes on every page with views of the town and funfair, with graphic map-like quality imagery and birds-eye view scenes of the town.

Max and Bob are old friends. Max helps out in Bob’s shop, and in the evenings they go fishing together. Until one summer, when everything changes …From the winner of the 2013 Crichton Award for Australia’s best new illustrator comes this heart warming story of enduring friendship …and chips.

by Marc Martin

Published by Templar