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Animalia
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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 achieved classic status with worldwide sales approaching three million copies. It has now inspired an animated TV series. Other favourites by Graeme Base include The Eleventh Hour, My Grandma Lived in Gooligulch, The Sign of the Seahorse, The Discovery of Dragons, The Worst Band in the Universe,The Waterhole (and The Waterhole Board Book), Jungle Drums and Uno's Garden. In 2007 this last title featured in six major awards and was winner of three- Speech Pathology Book of the Year, younger readers; The Green Earth Book, USA; The Wilderness Society Environment Award. In 2003, his first novel for young readers, TruckDogs, was released. It was short-listed for the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards the following year. In 2009 Graeme produced the the fascinating, beautiful and challenging book Enigma; can you crack the code? Graeme's most recent book is The Last King of Angkor Wat. Graeme lives in Melbourne with his artist wife, Robyn, and their three children - James, Kate and Will. Visit graemebase.com

Reviews

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. (September)

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