Saturday, April 3, 2010

6th April Graeme Base (1958)

Graeme Base was born in the UK, but Australia claims him as an Australian author/illustrator. His work is outstanding and very different from other picture book illustrators. He is probably best known for his second book Animalia which is an 'alphabet book', but it is not simple or for very young children. The pictures are very detailed and 'chock a block' full of things to find. The pictures are humorous and full of whimsy. Check out the lazy lions in the local library for L.

While I like all of his books, my favourite is The Waterhole. Some parent-borrowers mistake it for a 'counting' book, and therefore won't borrow it, but it is far more than that. It has a brief text, which like the text in Animalia is rhythmic and alliterative, but it also has amazing paper engineering, beautifully detailed illustrations of African animals and an important ecological message about the importance of water in the world. Graeme Base's more recent books offer children so much more than an enriching reading/viewing experience. There is so much to learn!

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