Fungarium: Welcome to the Museum

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Welcome to the Fungarium! Step into the world of fungi and learn all about these strange and fascinating life-forms.


Illustrator Katie Scott returns to the Welcome to the Museum series with exquisite, detailed images of some of the most fascinating living organisms on this planet--fungi. Exploring every sort of fungi, from the kinds we see on supermarket shelves to those like penicillium that have shaped human history, this collection is the definitive introduction to what fungi are and just how vital they are to the world's ecosystem.


This rare and wondrous book will capture the imagination of fungi fans. You might be thinking that's a fairly small demographic, but once kids see this graceful compilation that looks like a quaint nineteenth-century natural science tract--features detailed, labeled illustrations in vivid colors that pop off pages--and read about how fungi are actually closer to animals than plants, they'll be hooked. . . The text is authoritative and informative, but the real attraction is the artwork. There are glorious spreads of ecosystems, and even the end papers are worth a look. . . This will make a handsome addition to STEM collections and should attract browsers and budding mycologists alike.
--Booklist (starred review)


Led by Gaya, a team of mycologists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, offers an irresistible, oversized introduction to fungi. Dedicated to the "next generation of mycologists," this well-designed handbook approximates a tour of a museum, or "fungarium," complete with foil ticket for entry and four galleries--"Fungal Biology," "Fungal Diversity," "Fungal Interactions," and "Fungi and Humans." Stop-you-in-your-tracks biological illustrations colorfully depict spores, yeasts, molds, and mushrooms. . . Even the monochromatic endpapers are frameworthy. . . Kid-pleasing macabre facts abound. . . An immersive, exquisitely illustrated trip to the fungal kingdom.
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


This beautifully illustrated title is a detailed survey of all types of fungi. . . . The concept of a museum is highlighted in the incredible illustrations.
--School Library Journal


The author's direct language welcomes the reader into the captivating world of fungi. The readers will feel as if they are entering into a real museum as they are directed to tour each gallery in a wonderful reading experience. . . . Opposite the text are the sumptuous and colorful illustrations. The renderings are elegant, vivid, and exquisitely detailed. . . . The museum is dense with information about the fungal world, and this title represents a fascinating and beautiful work of art which explores the rarely-visited world of fungi.
--School Library Connection


These woody mushrooms get a 'gallery' of their own in the gorgeous, museum-evoking pages of 'Fungarium'. . . Illustrated by Katie Scott and written by Ester Gaya, with the help of a phalanx of specialists, 'Fungarium' presents a jaw-dropping vision of the multifarious and largely hidden world of organisms that are, we read, 'more closely related to animals than they are to plants.'
--The Wall Street Journal


The Welcome to the Museum series is part of a large series of books by Candlewick Press; they are sort of large format encyclopedias geared towards kids, but honestly adults might enjoy them even more. The artwork is beautiful and Old World, like something from the 19th century. . . . The full-page illustrations colorfully depict mushrooms and other fungi, as well as spores, hyphae, phylogenetic tree, etc. . . . This collection is a great introduction to early learners-- showing what fungi are and just how vital they are to the world's ecosystem--but would serve well as a coffee table book for advanced mycophiles.
--FUNGI Magazine

Ester Gaya is a senior research leader at Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England. She began her career in mycology in Spain and lived in the US before settling in the UK. She has spent the past twenty years researching fungi and is especially fascinated by lichens and their evolutionary process.

Katie Scott graduated from University of Brighton in 2011. Her work draws influences from traditional medical and botanical illustration, both in aesthetic and subject matter. It also plays with the ideas of scientific uncertainty and speculation, fabricating the inner and outer workings of the world. Her illustrations depict a familiar yet fantasy vision of plants, humans, and minerals.

Target Age: 8-12

Big Picture Press

Pub Date:  April 06, 2021

0.6" H x 14.7" L x 10.7" W

80 pages