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4.1 out of 5 stars28
4.1 out of 5 stars
Format: School & Library Binding|Change
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on 22 October 1996
Animalia is a stunning example of what fun an imaginative illustrator can have with the simplest of subjects. Base takes the alphabet to a whole new level in this fabulous book of outrageous animal-oriented situations. My personal favourite, the letter H, has the particularly fantastic title: "Horrible Hairy Hogs Hurrying Homewards on Heavily Harnessed Horses." It features just that, but in colours and detail that Michaelangelo must have only dreamt of. To fulfill the alphabetic premise, Base scatters letter-related, yet logically incongruous, images (a pair of hamsters stand innocently in a tuft of grass as the Hogs ride rapidly past) throughout each scene in an amazing, but successful, test of harmony. These miscellaneous images let the readers, ages 2 to 90, gleefully search the exquisite scenes for an amazing variety of alphabetic inhabitants. I recommend this book for anyone -- if, however improbably, the ideas alone don't make it worthwhile, the genius and execution involved certainly will.
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on 24 June 2013
I first came across this book over 20 years ago and it still continues to amuse and intrigue. For those who aren't familiar with it, it's worth taking the opportunity to 'look inside'. As you'll see, there's a single or double page illustration for each letter of the alphabet. The objective is to find as many words beginning with that letter. What makes it special is that each illustration is a visual feast; more importantly, it's a fun way to challenge and expand your child's vocabulary. Suitable for 7-8 years upwards. One small point. In some editions, there is a section at the back of the book that lists the images/words on each page (useful, even for adults). However, the library edition does not have this feature.
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on 1 November 1999
Animalia joins some beautiful illustration of animals in incredible situations, each an interpretation of the alphabet. A treat for tired tigers tearing at their toupees!
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on 10 December 2013
Whilst Animalia is undoubtedly a great book, like a previous reviewer, I have concerns as to whether this is a genuine or authorised version. The print quality is very poor, in particular the front page which looks like a (poor) colour photocopy. The lack of publisher and copyright details further raises suspicion. I am returning my copy and would urge Amazon to withdraw this product from sale.
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on 9 June 2009
I ordered this as a present for an eight-year-old, & after looking through it, wanted another one to keep at home. I'd already seen, & given as a present Graeme Base's "The Water Hole" and this book is just as fascinating. The pictures are delightfully witty & really motivate a child - or an adult - to play with words imaginatively. It has a picture page for each letter of the alphabet, with just one sentence of text, but the moment you start to name the objects & creatures in the picture you have fun - for instance, on the T page there are two tigers taking the two-thirty train to Timbuktu, while three tortoises play tunes on a tuba, a trombone & a trumpet. It's a superbly entertaining book to stimulate imagination & language.
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on 5 October 2009
I have used this book for some years in my role as reading help at a local primary school so when I wanted to purchase it for a young relative it was upsetting to find it was out of print - thank you Amazon for introducing me to your new and used section.

It is not only educational but very enjoyable for both the young reader and parent or teacher to progress through the alphabet in such a unique way. The skill of the artist must be a great part of the enjoyment and I congratulate such a clever author and artist (one and the same).
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on 18 April 2013
I have memories of looking at this book as a child and spending hours engrossed in the drawings. The book left such an impression on me that I had to get a copy when I had a baby. Each of the drawings is so detailed and intricate that they are a masterpiece on their own. Each turn of the page offers more surprises and wonder. I spent hours wrapped up in this book. Also, as an ESL teacher I realized that these drawings would be fantastic to share with English learners - what a fun way to improve your vocabulary!
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on 11 June 2016
This book is not a genuine copy. I was disappointed when I opened it as the front cover looks awful, Very dark and looks photocopied.
As a previous reviewer mentioned, there are no publishing dates etc at the front of the book. The pages are badly joined together and so words and pictures that cross over the middle of the two pages are missing slightly.
Considering how much I paid for this book I am very disappointed.
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on 5 September 2011
Animalia was published many years ago but I have just discovered it - the alphabet is illustrated with rhyme, colour, imagination and fun, and we spent ages scouring the beautiful illustrations looking for the little boy that the artist hides in each picture. Just wonderful to share - with all ages.
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on 20 September 2011
I bought this book for my kids many years ago, they all loved it and would argue over who owned it. I bought another copy for my grandchildren who are beginning to realise what a wonderful book it is. It is such a wonderful buy and I know it will keep them busy for a very long time.
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