The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery Paperback – Large Print, Sep 1 1997
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Reading The Eleventh Hour is like running a marathon: one finishes exhausted but satisfied. Graeme Base, creator of the popular Animalia, has crafted another intricately wrought, gorgeously illustrated picture book, this time a mystery in verse. When Horace the Elephant decides to throw himself a party for his 11th birthday, he never suspects a crime will be committed by lunchtime. Who has stolen the birthday feast? As with any good mystery, everyone is guilty until proven innocent. The proof lies in the myriad clues embedded in each glorious illustration. Young sleuths will delight in decoding the complex messages that pop up in unexpected places.
Graeme Base used the buildings he saw during his travels through Africa, Asia, and Europe to design and decorate Horace's fantastic house. Astute readers may recognize Roman cathedrals, Scottish palaces, and stone carvings from India. Best of all, secreted in these walls are cryptic messages in Egyptian hieroglyphics, anagrams, and even Morse code to challenge the perceptive and deductive abilities of any reader "of tender years or long in tooth." The Eleventh Hour is a brilliant, rigorous, creative romp that no child (or adult) should miss. (All Ages) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
As in Base's Animalia , his lush, intricately detailed illustrations in The Eleventh Hour comprise a sort of visual hide-and-seek. Here, the stakes are clues to the solution of a mystery: Who has surreptitiously eaten the feast prepared for Horace the Elephant's 11th birthday party? The culprit could be any of a number of exotically costumed animal guests, from a pig dressed as an admiral to a pair of giraffes in tutus to a zebra gone punk. The fun of poring over the pictures for hidden messages and significant particulars is, happily, matched by the enjoyment derived from the text--witty, ingenious verses that ably skirt the singsong or mundane. It will take an exceptionally persistent sleuth to deduce the thief's identity; many readers may resort to breaking the seal to the "top secret" solution. Thus enlightened, those returning to the scenes of the crime may still find some clues difficult to discern; in particular, the large number of concealed "mice" are almost impossible to make out. But it is, as Base points out, the thrill of the chase that matters most; and on this count the work scores high marks. All ages.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Everyone was dressed in wonderful costumes and were doing different things. Some guests played chess while others played Hid (a game of tag) or Snakes and Ladders (a board game) and other's played Tennis or Blind Man's Bluff. Everyone was having a really good time and getting more and more hungry! They were all happy when Horace called them in The Eleventh Hour to eat the birthday feast! Here is where the Mystery begins!
Everyone came into get some delicious treats and low and behold the table was empty! All the food had disappeared and no one knew who had taken the food away.
The reader has the job of solving this crime. The author gives a sheet of clues and the reader is off to solve the crime. This was really fun for me and I reccommend this book to any reader from the 3rd - 6th grade who loves to solve mysteries.
The pictures are really neat and there are lots of clues to look for in the pictures and there is information for the reader at the end of the book about clues from all the illustrations.
Most recent customer reviews
This is the one that started it all. Like wildfire in my Elementary School, this puzzle book was extraordinary and became very popular. Read morePublished 23 months ago by M. Molnar
Perfect for the curious and inquisitive child, the Eleventh Hour was one of my favorite books as a kid, I enjoyed every day it took me to solve the mystery, running with glee to my... Read morePublished on May 5 2004 by Mary E. Wheeler
This book is a fun book to read! It has very detailed illistrations. It is about an 11 year-old elephant who wants to invite his animal friends to his birthday party. Read morePublished on Feb. 19 2004
While the illustrations are superb and disovering some of the clues can be great fun, solving all them is arguably impossible. Read morePublished on Dec 28 2003 by Jan
This is still one of my favorite childrens books, I remember pouring over the highly detailed paintings of Graeme Base trying to pick out the clues in each and every one of the... Read morePublished on Dec 8 2003 by Amazon Customer
This book is such a great book for children. I first read this book when I was in the 2nd grade (1992). I loved it. Read morePublished on Nov. 17 2003 by Laura
Definitely, without a doubt, one of the best books for children (or anyone really!) who loves animals and mysteries out there. Read morePublished on June 2 2003
Being a primary teacher, I thought this book would be too difficult for my students. But in reality they LOVED it! Read morePublished on Feb. 28 2003