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Children's Book Illustrator Peter Brown Wins 2014 Bull-Bransom Award

Children's Book Illustrator Peter Brown Wins 2014 Bull-Bransom Award

Children's book author/illustrator Peter Brown is the recipient of the 2014 Bull-Bransom Award, announced the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Brown was selected for the award, given annually for excellence in children's book illustration with a wildlife and nature focus, for his 2013 picture book Mr. Tiger Goes Wild (Little Brown and Company). Brown was announced as the Bull-Bransom Award winner at a ceremony presented as part of the National Museum of Wildlife Art's Celebration of Young Artists event held at the museum on May 1.

A panel of judges selected "Mr. Tiger Goes Wild" from among five finalists, with comments calling the book "an exceptional tribute to the wild and rambunctious energy in all children" and praising the way the book "plays around with the idea of 'wildlife' in very visual ways." Past Bull-Bransom Award winners Sylvia Long and Eric Rohmann served on the judging panel that selected Brown from a group of five finalists.

A funny and compelling tale of an anthropomorphic tiger - in Victorian-esque suit and top hat - who grows bored with his very proper town life and decides to get in touch with his wild side, "Mr. Tiger Goes Wild" is "perhaps my most autobiographical book to date," says Peter Brown, only slightly tongue in cheek. Brown, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, was working on animated TV shows when he signed his first picture book deal for Flight of the Dodo. He often uses animal characters for his books, enjoying inhabiting their "unique points of view."

"I was fortunate enough to grow up with easy access to streams and forests and fields and the animals that inhabited those places. But in today's world, fewer and fewer children have access to the natural world, and therefore, are less likely to feel connected to it. And so I try to tell stories that will pique every child's curiosity and appreciation for nature," says Brown, who adds that he's "thrilled and honored" to receive the Bull-Bransom Award and "have my book recognized by such a prestigious institution."

Brown consciously studied how past authors and artists handled anthropomorphism as he began work on "Mr. Tiger Goes Wild." In a blog post titled "Mr. Tiger Gets Styled," he talks about the process of creating the book, crediting illustrators including Alice and Martin Provensen, Mary Blair and Charley Harper with providing inspiration. Brown's past book honors include a Caldecott Honor (2013) for "Creepy Carrots!", two E.B. White Awards, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award and a Children's Choice Award for Illustrator of the Year, Brown.

Created in the tradition of such prestigious children's book illustrator honors as the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King and Hans Christian Andersen awards, the Bull-Bransom Award is presented in the form of a medal and $5,000 cash award. The National Museum of Wildlife Art named the award for Charles Livingston Bull and Paul Bransom, among the first American artist-illustrators to specialize in wildlife subjects.


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