The Water Hole Paperback – Sep 6 2004
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Who can resist the allure of the hidden wilderness water hole? Certainly not one rhino. Not two tigers. Nor three toucans. Pretty soon the delicious pool is drawing moose, catfish, pandas, tortoises... and more than 100 other critters from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and beyond. But is it our imagination or is that rhino-sized water hole dwindling to a mere shadow of its former self, a puddle not fit for eight ladybugs, let alone 10 kangaroos? As the seasons change across the world, and the animals get thirstier, the water supply diminishes. Eventually, even the flowery-shirted frog that has stoically lingered through the drought packs his suitcase and takes off. The only hope now is a drop of rain on the parched earth...
With his usual elaborate detail, Graeme Base, mad genius behind Animalia, The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery, and other wild and wonderful titles, presents a one-of-a-kind counting book. Naturally, Base would never be content to stick with a simple 1 through 10 format. Readers of all ages will linger over each spread, first counting the highlighted animals and giggling at the translation of their grunts and growls (the moose's "Moo, moo, mooooooiii!" means "Hey, get your hoof out of my ear!"). Then it's time to check out the diminishing size of the die-cut hole in the pond. And finally, readers will want to find each of the 10 additional animals cleverly hidden in every illustration, based on the silhouetted creatures in the border. A safari on paper--with an environmental and mathematical education thrown in for good measure. (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Readers will find more to see the longer they linger over the enticing pages of Base's (Animalia) latest innovative effort. Successive spreads introduce a growing number of animals (from one rhino to 10 kangaroos) at a water hole which, as viewed through die-cut ovals of progressively decreasing size, becomes smaller with each turn of the page. Though the minimal, somewhat quirky text makes no reference to the locale depicted in each mixed-media painting, images in the background of the various landscapes help pinpoint the country or continent in focus (e.g., Mount Rushmore is visible through the trees that flank five North American moose lapping up water and the Great Wall of China looms behind seven thirsty pandas). Borders at the top and bottom of each spread feature silhouettes of 10 animals indigenous to the spotlighted locale. In the accompanying illustration, Base cleverly conceals renderings of these creatures, subtly working them into the vegetation and sometimes into the remarkably lifelike images of the featured animals themselves. Keeping these creatures company and adding a dose of whimsy to the visuals is a cast of diminutive frogs, bedecked in pearls, knit caps and shirts. Though the animals disappear when the water hole dries up, rain eventually falls and the earth springs back to life. Base's final panorama reveals all the species gathered peacefully at one much larger water hole, bringing his story to a hopeful close. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Make sure that you look at the scenes in the background and try and guess what they represent. The page of all the extinct animals was amazingly well done.
The only hint that I will give is that the frog with the funny hat is the hardest to find and I can almost guarantee that he will be the last one that you find.
Most recent customer reviews
We bought this book for our son when he was 3 and now at 8 he is still drawn to it. The illustrations are beautiful and it has something to appeal to all ages. Read morePublished on Oct. 10 2006 by L. Plug
I picked this book up at a school book fair - then went back for more copies for gifts! The artwork is out of this world - witty, mysterious - a true adventure. Read morePublished on May 22 2002 by P. Cheney
I really enjoyed this book. The illustrations were just gorgeous. Detail is everywhere and I loved the way the author hid the animals in every background. Read morePublished on April 19 2002 by Kimberly Bennetto
I was wowed by the cover art on this one and bought it for my young daughter not knowing that it's less a cute look at the common feeding habits of different creatures than an odd... Read morePublished on Dec 27 2001 by Michael Mikesell
My son is 4 1/2 and absolutely loves animals. We bought this book and have not put it down. The book is much more than a counting book. It is a geography lesson as well. Read morePublished on Nov. 8 2001
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