- Publisher: Puffin (1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0140559965
- ISBN-13: 978-0140559965
- Product Dimensions: 24.8 x 0.4 x 33 cm
- Shipping Weight: 249 g
- Average Customer Review: 42 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #307,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Animalia Paperback – 1996
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What's this elaborate illustration? "Horrible Hairy Hogs Hurrying Homewards on Heavily Harnessed Horses," of course. Graeme Base's astonishingly creative oeuvre begins with Animalia, the 1993 alphabet book that challenges the standard idea of how long reading a book for small kids ought to take. Animalia, like many of Base's books, is a vast puzzle, built with entrancing pictures that unfold into layers and layers of objects--all matched to each page's corresponding letter. Base leaves us stunned and amazed, painting reflections into the oddest surfaces and driving the urge to page-turn. This wonderful picture book works for 2-year-olds, 5-year-olds, and adults alike--something few other alphabet books can manage. --Andrew Bartlett --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Base has created an ABC book that goes far beyond a simple listing of items in alphabetical order. There are captions or headlines accompanying each letter's scene, such as "Eight Enormous Elephants Expertly Eating Easter Eggs," or "Two Tigers Taking the 10:20 Train to Timbuktu." Each picture is replete with an apparently random choice of objects that have in common (on every page but the one for the letter X) their first letters. This Australian import makes for a delightful visual feast, though it lacks a clear conceptual coherence or unity of action or meaning on every page. No matterreaders will have a fine time guessing at objects and searching for a small child who hides among the pages; and the meticulous artistry is far-reaching in its innovation, detail and humor. Base's monumental effort will not go unrewarded; if books could be honored for the sheer number of hours readers could pore over crammed pages, and for the inexhaustible supply of extra touches, this one surely would be a winner. All ages.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Each page (or sometimes two) has a clever little phrase like "Lazy lions lounging in the local library." But it will not be only that - hidden in the sumptuous, realistic illustrations are tiny pictures, symbols and words that also begin with the letter of that page. Small kids will be delighted by the opportunity to find all of them, though parents may have to describe what the difference between a lobster and a crawfish is.
Humans don't really exist in this book, as animals seem to rule. The actions of the animals - such as aforementioned lions pawing lazily through books - seem very logical in this dreamy world. Even if you don't have kids or they are too old for picture books, check this out anyway. Excellence like this is not restricted to age.
Exceptionally lovely and fun book.
What great illustrations! What great prose! The writing is arranged differently on each page, in different colors, styles, and size! What a way to introduce flexibility into a child's reading skills! And the motivation is fantastic! Children love the variety, both in the writing and in the detailed pictures! Kids love the silliness and words similar in sounds, too! And great big words for early readers are most challenging and exciting!
As a retired teacher, I remember reading times when older children (age 9 - 11), would sit for an entire silent reading period,looking for the tiny picture of Graeme Base on each page, all the while enjoying and appreciating the other illustrations, and usually chuckling about them I remember older children willingly reading aloud to younger children in an after-school program. I remember younger children (age5-6) reinforcing beginning sounds of letters in this book, by listening and reading the long words, sounding them out as they read along, getting hints from the many illustrations, and at the same time, sharpening their visual skills, noticing details on each page. All in all, a great book for children! Enjoy!
What makes this book so much fun is that the illustrations on each page are all items that begin with the same letter as each tongue twister. However, it's not always easy to figure this out. For example, on the first page with the letter A you will see a picture of a snake. But snake begins with the letter "s", so how can this be? Well, it's an Anaconda!!
You can keep your kids (or students) busy by having them be a detective and list all the items on a page that begin with that letter. This activity really requires higher level thinking
skills and is perfect for challenging your students.
Also, in every picture the author has drawn himself as a little boy. It's like a little puzzle on each page.
Kudos to Base. A brilliant book that finds the child in all of us--regardless of our age.
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Think it may have even been fake as there was no copyright anywhere in the book.Read more