ZOO IN THE SKY by Jaqueline Mitton, illustrated by Christina Balit. Published by Francis Lincoln Children’s books
“Featuring constellations named after animals, birds and fishes, this text introduces young children to a "zoo" in the sky. Sky maps and an information spread on the night sky, stars and galaxies are also included.”
This was the first book I had painted that used silver foil which was added in a separate printing process. This meant that the stars on the original art had to be painted as black circles for the silver foil markings to overlap. It was also relatively complicated to create drawings that compositionally worked within the frame shape of the page and within the star shape of each constellation. There was also the problem of where the spine of the book lay as no star could overlap that area. It became a bit of a logistical jiggle, which I think, in a funny way, posed a lovely problem to solve. I had absolutely no idea how I was going to start making these drawings but once I landed upon how to make the first one I was away.
School Library Journal
"A long time ago the sky was imagined to be a whole zoo of animals, and this book - a must for budding astronomers - brings them to life with bright illustrations and sparkly stars. It's a fascinating as well as fun read, so be prepared to wrap up warm and join the kids in the garden after dark. Before long, instead of seeing squares and squiggles, you too will see a wing, a tail or a scorpion's sting."
Kids Out December 1998