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The Water Hole Paperback – September 9, 2004


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The Water Hole + Animalia (Picture Puffins) + The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (September 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142401978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142401972
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 0.1 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Graeme Base is one of the world's leading creators of picture books. His alphabet book, Animalia, received international acclaim when it was first published in 1986 and has sold more than two million copies. Graeme lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Customer Reviews

I enjoy looking for the animals hidden in each picture.
Armchair Interviews
It is one of the most beautifully illustrated books that I have ever seen.
Ami Depierro
We own a few Graeme Base books, but this one is my sons favorite.
Tiffanie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 49 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and state for one and all that "The Water Hole" is Graeme Base's masterpiece. Certainly "Animalia" has it's followers, and there's the occasional "The Eleventh Hour" groupie, but by and large "The Water Hole" trumps them all. Here, author and illustrator Base has combined the gimmick book (a water hole is cut out of each page, growing smaller as each animal drinks from it), with the counting book (each page displays a larger number of animals), with the informative travelogue (each page appears somewhere new in the world with animals from that region), with the hidden surprise book (you can see tons of different animals hidden in each scene). It's as if Base sat down one day to draw the impossible and did so with a mere flick of the pen. The book is amazing.
If you're unfamiliar with Graeme Base, allow me to sum him up. Here we have an illustrator able to draw animals that are undoubtedly not photo-realistic, but remarkably real looking. These creatures are both cartoony and lifelike. Colors imbue every scene to the point of wonder. Base also is adept at the tiny details that make up much of his work. Because a lot of the fun from this story comes from finding animals hidden within the trees, weeds, bamboo, etc. that surround the water hole, Base must be especially cunning to make them both obvious and yet a part of the landscape. And I haven't even mentioned the pictures that run along the frame of each water hole scene. For each two-page spread, the artist has provided black silhouettes around the border that display the animals you can find hidden in the pictures, as well as their names. Don't know what a gharial or a tapir is? You will.
At the end of the book, Base provides each number and the part of the world it belongs to.
Read more ›
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on October 4, 2001
Format: Hardcover
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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 8, 2001
Format: Hardcover
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. Each page is built around a different region of the world and has animals from that region hidden in the scenery. The illustrations are remarkable. One word of caution: do not read this book before bedtime unless you plan ahead, it is so much fun to search for the animals that you may be up all night!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. Markley on December 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Cameron on September 1, 2001
Format: Hardcover
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. Base takes animals from all over the globe and places them at the same water hole, which disappears rapidly and then illustrates how the water will come back. A young child can actually feel the hole getting smaller because of a cut-out pond on every page that shrinks. The book is excellent for learning numbers as well. This book is destined to be a classic like "Animalia."
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By JollyGreen on January 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
This was a gift to my 2-year old from a girlfriend/kinder teacher. My son is now almost 5, his brother is 2.5, and this book is dog-eared! We read this at least 3x/week. The illustrations are breathtaking. Their animal vocabulary is amazing. Their attention to detail has definitely improved in many areas - they look for hidden images in all their books now. Animalia, also by Graeme Base, is spectacular too - another favorite in our home.
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