John Drysdale's photographs are exciting, tender, hilarious, often exhilarating- but for more than the obvious reasons. Certainly it's not every day that one sees a lion that's befriended a Boston terrier. Maybe elephants don't usually go fishing, and parrots generally don't tend to lounge around in beach chairs, next to their human companions. But in the "peaceable kingdom" of John Drysdale, surprisingly unique alliances flourish. His photographs are whimsical and charming, but also carry a very important, necessary truth - the essential bonds of friendship transcend appearances, expectations, and traditions. Cats can love mice, bulldogs can rear squirrels, and foxes can protect chicks.
With a refreshingly honest eye, Drysdale has captured the many ways in which the creatures that inhabit the earth bring one another comfort and happiness. Never mind that a burro and a boy are curled up on the sofa, or that a chimpanzee is sunbathing with his human family by the pool. Friendship is where you find it. The familiarity and love expressed in Drysdale's work is heartfelt and very real - as the endnotes explain, the exotic animals that are his subjects were often orphaned as babies, and reared along with the humans and other animals in the photographs.
Since his earliest photographs of children frolicking on the cobblestoned streets of London, Drysdale's wonderfully illustrious career has spanned close to fifty years. And in Our Peaceable Kingdom, for the first time, 100 of his most memorable images are collected in one beautiful volume, destined to become a favorite on the shelves of children, adults, animal lovers, and anyone who appreciates a good friend.