STARRED REVIEW
February 2021

Anonymouse

illustrated by Anna Pirolli

You might think that, if a mouse were to become a graffiti artist, they would use creamy yellow paint in tribute to delicious cheese. But the prolific and eponymous(e) spray-painter in Anonymouse favors a bright berry pink that pops against the brown and beige city buildings and streets where they live and work.

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You might think that, if a mouse were to become a graffiti artist, they would use creamy yellow paint in tribute to delicious cheese. But the prolific and eponymous(e) spray-painter in Anonymouse favors a bright berry pink that pops against the brown and beige city buildings and streets where they live and work.

As digitally drawn by Italian illustrator Anna Pirolli, Anonymouse’s striking and funny acts of guerrilla art offer encouragement to other urban-dwelling animals who are surrounded by high-rises and concrete, rather than trees and grass. In the painter’s tiny paws, satellite dishes become big-headed flowers, trompe l’oeil technique turns a dumpster into a chic raccoon cafe, and a well-placed image of a pink-winged bat alerts a traveling colony of the flying mammals that a nearby warehouse is a prime hangout spot.

Anonymouse paints high in the sky and deep down underground, sending out cheeky signals to ants, birds and dogs alike. Animals and humans frolic in the faux shade of painted trees, enjoying the literal and figurative color added to their lives by the stealthy artist. But alas, Anonymouse must eventually move on. As the bright pink paint fades to a soft rose glow, the animals know their lives have been forever changed, and even more exciting, they begin to create art themselves.

Regardless of whether Canadian author Vikki VanSickle drew inspiration from the activist-artist Banksy or the Swedish artist collective Anonymouse, she has created a charming and clever rodent rebel whose work, she writes, “always made the animals of the city think.” Anonymouse is a poetic and visually witty paean to the power of creativity and the ability of art to inspire and unite us. Readers will enjoy wondering what Anonymouse could be up to right now and will surely consider their own surroundings in a new, imaginative light.

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Anonymouse

Anonymouse

illustrated by Anna Pirolli
Tundra
ISBN 9780735263949

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