To date, Animalia, The Eleventh Hour, and The Waterhole are my favorite of Graeme Base's offerings. Animalia and The Waterhole are read frequently in our home to teach ABCs and 1-10 counting as well as observation skills, and also for some good old fashioned fun reading aloud with fun and different voices!!
My spouse and I enjoy reading The Eleventh Hour because of all the mysteries to solve - the hidden images, the hidden puzzles, and the clues interspersed between text and illustration.
I was excited to see the newest offering, Enigma. I immediately signed up to pre-order. I am grateful that I did! This book is wonderful! The rhyme is similar to the text in Base's other books - occasionally forced, but still fun to read! Perhaps it's because of all the time I've spent pouring over the Eleventh Hour, but many of the hidden clues were easy to find and decipher in this book.
Our elementary-school-aged children find the mystery in this book to be perfect! One is even trying to break the cipher without resorting to opening the key in the back of the book.
The story is engaging and entertaining. Young Bertie Badger goes from room-to-room in the Entertainers' retirement home to solve the mystery of the missing props. Each page, each entertainer, represtents a different country. Like Animalia, like The Waterhole, like so many of Base's other books, the details of the backdrops add significantly to the richness and the texture of the tale he weaves.
If you're looking for Base's best mystery book - buy the Eleventh Hour. If you're looking for a fun mystery with a cipher-code to break, great for an elementary reader, buy this book! It has become a treasured addition to my Graeme Base collection.
Animalia (Picture Puffins)
The Water Hole