Synopses & Reviews
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?
"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
An absorbing visual feast. (Kirkus Reviews
Another beautifully illustrated animal fantasy... children will savor the gorgeous, animal-packed spreads. (Booklist)
In the tradition of his bestselling alphabet book, "Animalia," Base takes readers on an exhilarating journey of discovery with an ingenious fusion of counting book, puzzle book, storybook, and art book. Full color.