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The Water Hole [Paperback]

Graeme Base
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 10.00
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Hardcover CDN $16.57  
Paperback CDN $9.50  

Book Description

Sept. 6 2004
In the tradition of his best-selling alphabet book, Animalia, author and illustrator Graeme Base takes young readers on an exhilarating journey of discovery with an ingenious fusion of counting book, puzzle book, storybook, and art book. From the plains of Africa and the jungles of the Amazon to the woodlands of North America and the deserts of outback Australia, the animals come together to drink from the water hole. But their water supply is diminishing. What?s going on? Each sumptuous landscape illustration conceals hidden animal pictures for readers to find as they count the animals that visit the water hole and try to solve the mystery: will the animals come back or is their water source gone forever?

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Product Description

From Amazon

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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Down to the secret water hole the animals all come. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WONDERFUL!!! April 9 2005
This is one of the most beautifully illustrated books I have ever seen. It is a simple story that talks about animals from all over the world. We received this as a gift from Australia 2 years ago for my sons third birthday and it still remains one of his favorites. Don't pass this one up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Back to his old form Feb. 8 2002
By Fiona
The artwork and intrigue of "Animalia" and "The Eleventh Hour" is at least equalled if not surpassed in this splendid book. Base provides families and readers of all ages with a magnificent work: an ecological view of geography; an early science primer; a counting book (coming close to "One Dragon's Dream" by Peter Pavey); exercises for left and right brain... Very definitely I add this to my wishlist: One Thousand Books I Would Give To Any Child. It transcends political correctness or cultural miopia. It invites readers of all genders, creeds, and races to engage in an exploration of physical and temporal plains. Some books should never go out of print and Base's family, for seven generations (at least!) should benefit from the royalties of a remarkable treasure. I can only effuse and if I must criticise it is that I would like further notes in fine print at the rear so that I can pronounce "Prezwalski Horse" and "Quagga" correctly and to have some assistance in recalling "Mt. Rushmore" but the absence of such notes in no way impends a pleasurable reading. We've had the book in our possession for less than 24 hours and eleven children aged 2 to 13 have clamoured for "another go", reading as individuals and groups, and demanding more conversations inspired by the rich illustrations. Graeme, if you're out there, please come to our place for dinner.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Counting Book and Much, Much More..... Oct. 4 2001
Visit the water hole where animals from all over the world and many different habitats come for a drink and a splash. First there's the rhino, then two tigers, three toucans and four snow leopards. Is it my imagination, or is the pool growing smaller? Next come five moose, six catfish, seven pandas, eight ladybugs, nine tortoises and finally ten kangaroos. "There was nothing to say. The water was all gone. And the animals went away." The earth is now dry and cracked, waiting for rain. The sky grows dark, the clouds appear and splat; one big drop hits the ground..... Graeme Base has outdone himself with this deceptively simple counting book. His text, complete with humorous asides and wonderful animal sound effects is easy and fun to read. But it's Mr Base's amazing, innovative and creative arwork that really makes this book stand out. By using a die-cut hole, youngsters can actually watch the water hole get smaller and smaller with each page turn, until it all but disappears. His detailed, lush scenes are a veritable feast for the eyes and beg to be explored. Each bold, bright and busy page is bordered with the silhouettes of animal filled landscapes and if you look closely and very carefully, you'll be able to find these additional animals hidden in the pictures. Perfect for children 4-8, The Water Hole is a counting book, science book, geography book and marvelous interactive book all rolled into one and a must for all home libraries.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The most visually appealing book we own Dec 18 2001
I bought two other books by this author (Sign of the Seahorse and the Worst Band in the Universe) for my two year olds library even though she is too young for them. I thought that I would have to wait until she was older to share this amazing author/artist with her. That is why I was particularly pleased to find this book. It is perfect for her. She just learned to count to ten and she enjoys counting all of the animals in this simple to follow story. The illustrations are breathtaking. In addition to teaching counting there is an environmental lesson learned as the animals drink all of the water up and the rain replaces it. I can't wait to pair this book with the see and say geography toy my daughter is getting for Christmas. I am going to show her the animals in the book and then demonstrate where they are found on the sea and say. I think it will make for an excellent geography lesson. This is a beautiful book, you will not be dissapointed!
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5.0 out of 5 stars What a challenge! Dec 26 2001
My Great Aunt gave this book to my family for Christmas. My wife and I sat down while the kids were napping and started to work through the book. About 90 minutes of working together we finally found all 10 frogs on the last page. It was a fun time for both of us. Sometimes we would have to put the book at arms length just to get a different perspective. Anyone who has kids will love this book. My 11 year old niece was enthralled with it and could hardly put it down.
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful as Always April 2 2002
The illustrations are so vivid and gorgeous in this book. Having such high expectations of Graeme Base (I'm a big fan of his work) I was a little bit disappointed with the actual content of the book. There really isn't much of a story told here, and no fabulously rythmic poetry as in a couple of his others. There are as always, hidden details that you will have to look at the book several times to find. Hidden animals in the pictures, and the illustrations around the edge of the borders, etc. Plus just the attention to detail that is his trademark. It looks great, but not much content. (Yes I realize it's supposed to be a children's book, but I have been entertained by almost all his other ones). Not one of my favorites... but pretty.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Still our family favourite!
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 more
Published on Oct. 10 2006 by L. Plug
5.0 out of 5 stars Wowed in Windsor, CT
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 more
Published on May 22 2002 by P. Cheney
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book!
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 more
Published on April 19 2002 by Kimberly Bennetto
2.0 out of 5 stars Preachy *and* unrealistic
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 more
Published on Dec 27 2001 by Michael Mikesell
5.0 out of 5 stars An Incredible Interactive Book
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 more
Published on Nov. 8 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as fun as "Animalia"!
I just discovered this book today and I was so excited about it. The intricate illustrations that fill the pages, the borders, and the dust jacket are wonderful. Read more
Published on Sept. 1 2001 by Jessica Cameron
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