Picture Book Snob
The Hounds of Love
100 Days of Dogs by Tarsila Krüse
This beautiful and one-of-a-kind book began life as an art project. Author-illustrator Tarsila Krüse planned to draw different breeds of dog after seeing the work of other artists as part of the #100DayProject. When she posted her first contribution online, a simple black and white sketch, a friend who saw it asked Tarsila to draw her own dog. With every new drawing shared, more family and friends would get in touch to request portraits, and soon Tarsila had 100 beloved subjects.
In the introduction, Tarsila writes: "Gradually it became clear that the 100 Days of Dogs project wasn't an exercise in dog anatomy or making dog portraits, but in expressing their unique personalities and the emotional connection they have or had with their humans. It is about their special existence in our lives and the meaningful imprints they leave on us."
As the project evolved, the idea of compiling all the canines into a book emerged. Tarsila collected anecdotes and background information about every dog to accompany each image and "honour the meaningful life experiences they've shared with their human families." The dog's stories are alternately funny and moving and the result is as special and impressive as the extraordinary animals represented by each illustration.
100 Days of Dogs is absolutely gorgeous; the front and back covers are covered in the cutest dogs imaginable and even the spine is adorable! The endpapers are decorated with bones. Tarsila's illustrations are full of personality and joy. Despite there being more than 100 dogs within these pages (some entries have multiple dogs belonging to the same family), each animal is distinct.
I love the colour palette chosen by Tarsila. The greenery and blue skies in the backgrounds are fabulous, as are the bright yellow, intricately designed flowers that appear on each page. Every dog has their name written in a different style of typography, to further reflect their personality. My favourite lettering belongs to Chaloupa, whose name is partially formed by bones (I love his story too).
This book holds so many fond memories and endearing animals within its pages. There are lots of moving stories of how dogs have been rescued and how people have been rescued by their dogs. The characteristics of the individual canines are interesting and amusing too. There's a dog who loves Judge Judy and one whose owners are certain can read. There's so much mischief, with false teeth burials as well as astonishing feats of food theft. We see incredible acts of intuition, including a dog who hates arguments and has tried and tested techniques for conflict resolution. The author-illustrator's own dogs can be found here too and it's lovely to meet them.
This exceptional work of art would make a wonderful gift that is guaranteed to put its owner in a good mood - just like the dogs featured. I'll definitely be turning the pages whenever I need to be cheered up! Only 100 copies were published and there are just a few remaining. If you'd like to get your paws on an exclusive, signed, limited edition of 100 Days of Dogs, you can find this book in the lovely shop on Tarsila's website.
About the author-illustrator:
Tarsila Krüse is an award-winning and self-taught artist who was born in Brazil but is Irish at heart. Tarsila loves languages, books and stationery, and carries a sketchbook with her everywhere she goes. She lives in a house with a bright yellow door in the fair city of Dublin with her husband, their son and two happy dogs, Pixel and Tag. Her experience as a primary school teacher comes in handy when Tarsila visits libraries & schools and facilitates workshops at various events. Tarsila is a true children's book champion and reviews new titles for Inis Magazine. Tarsila also designed our amazing logos and you can read more about her work on this project as our fairy blogmother here.
Read our review of My Little Album of Dublin by Juliette Saumande and Tarsila Krüse
Read our review of Percy Péacóg by Gemma Breathnach and Tarsila Krüse