Sir Francis Galton, half-cousin to Charles Darwin and a genius all his own, sets out to test the hearing of animals at the London Zoo. Based on Galton’s memoir, this delightful children’s book includes beautifully painted illustrations. Quite possibly the best illustrated children’s book about zoological audiology ever written!
Written by Thom Hawkins and illustrated by Monika Bullette
Thom Hawkins is a writer and lecturer from Towson, Maryland. He is the author of three children’s books: “The Yeti Made Me Do It (and Other Cryptozoological Excuses),” “Baldwin,” and “Sir Francis Galton Goes to the Zoo.” Thom frequently guest lectures at local colleges on the statistics of game shows, art, and literature, and was an invited speaker for Baltimore’s first annual StrangeCon convention. He loves odd historical stories, science, and reading to his two kids, ages five and seven.
Monika Bullette has returned to visual arts after dedicating many years to musical pursuits with her solo project BULLETTE and playing drums and singing with The Sky Drops. She works primarily in gouache, collage, and textiles. She’s particularly drawn to the matte surface that gouache provides and the puzzle solving and editing that collage entails. Inspired by the German Expressionist and Neo-Expressionism movements, she feels no need to adhere to painting something the color that it is “supposed to be”; it is merely painted what it needs to be – some radiation of its true character.
In this strange and wonderful little children’s book, Sir Francis Galton (“half-cousin to Charles Darwin, and a genius all his own”) visits the zoo in London, equipped with a hidden scientific apparatus, and notes each animal’s reaction. The story is simple, but fun, and aimed at the very young future science nerd. For those of us unfamiliar with Galton before this book, the author has included an afterword explaining the actual events that formed the basis of the story. The illustrations by Monika Bullette are gorgeous, with a superb (and sometimes unexpected) use of color, and lots of fun to look at. The genius of this book lies in the very basic method it finds to express its interesting and unique subject matter. A keeper!