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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.
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.
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 21 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
The Eleventh Hour is a great mystery story about Horace the Elephant. Horace is turning ll and decides to give himself a birthday party. Read morePublished on Dec 4 2002 by Jon Hanscom