Saturday, 30 December 2006


For Christmas, my brother and his wife gave our 4-year old a book we all love; a book thousands of people apparently love - Animalia.

This book, authored and illustrated by Graeme Base, was first published in 1986. But 20 years on, it continues to be the visual feast for all who behold it.

What we loved about this book, is the detail. Each page or so offers a tribute to a letter of the alphabet. There are many such books around, but the detail of this book is fabulous and exciting, turning it into a game of hide and seek.

While "A" appears to be about alligators and aardvarks, a closer look reveals a virtual swag of "A" delights to be visually lured from the page; an apron, an abacus, an alien, an ace, and album, with pictures of apes, admirals, athletes etc. on the open page, there were ants, an accordion, an ambulance, an alarm clock with the picture of an archer on it, an antenna, an anaconda, apples, asparagus, an aeroplane, an astronaut and an anchor...I am sure there were other things that we missed...and that is just the letter "A".

This book is well known, I am aware of that now. But if you are like me and had not heard of this delightful book for kids and their parents (because some objects are a bit obscure), then see if your library has a copy or perhaps the book store. I love books that prompt a child's reaching, over and over again. Don't you?

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