FUNGARIUM: WELCOME TO THE MUSEUM, by Ester Gaya and Katie Scott , Big Picture Press; Illustrated edition, April 6, 2021, Hardcover, $35 (ages 8-12)
Explore the magical and mysterious world of Fungi in Big Picture Press’ fantastic Fungarium.
“Fungi are probably the least known and most misunderstood organisms on Earth. More closely related to animals than to plants, they are critical to the maintenance of our food supply, health, ecosystems, and global atmospheric chemistry. They also exhibit an amazing variety of adaptations and forms.” — Fungarium preface by Professor David L. Hawksworth CBE, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, England
If you’ve ever read any of Big Picture Press’ Welcome to the Museum series (Planetarium, Dinosaurium, Botanicum, Historium, Animalium), then you already know how amazing they are. Each follow the same sort of setup with the book divided into sections. You begin at the entrance, or introduction. From there you enter four galleries focusing on fungal biology, fungal diversity, fungal interactions, and fungi and humans. Last comes the library, which features an index, curators and ways to learn more.
Each spread generally features a page of informative text that’s informative, accessible and, most importantly, interesting. The text is paired with Katie Scott’s incredibly detailed artwork. These are the sort of botanical images you want to cut out of the book and hang on your wall.
Though Fungarium is meant for middle graders (ages 8-12), readers of all ages will appreciate it. This fascinating collection makes a great conversation piece.