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.