Furry Friends

Kelley rabbit

Courtesy of Islandport Press

Here are the anthropomorphic animals not to miss this month.

children's book illustration

Mister Dog: The Dog Who Belonged to Himself by Garth Williams. Gouache and charcoal pencil on heavy-weight paper. ©1952, Penguin Random House

Peaks Island artist Scott Kelley is known for mildly surreal watercolors of wildlife and the natural world — he’s John James Audubon with a dash of Ralph Steadman — and his first children’s book is no departure. In I Am Birch, portraits of woodland creatures in traditional Wabanaki dress accompany (and, frankly, upstage) a fable loosely adapted from a Wabanaki legend. Available now from Islandport Press

Kelley says he looked for inspiration to the books of late Maine children’s author Margaret Wise Brown, whose frequent collaborator is the focus of Garth Williams, Illustrator of the Century, an exhibition at Brunswick’s Curtis Memorial Library featuring some 100 original works by the late illustrator of Brown’s Little Fur Family and Mister Dog, E.B. White’s Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web, and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series, among others.

Through July 31. 23 Pleasant St., Brunswick. 207-725-5242.

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Brian Kevin

Brian Kevin is Down East's editor in chief.