32pp., hbk., RRP $A29.99
Thirty years ago in 1986 an armoured armadillo avoiding an angry alligator appeared from the pen of one of Australia’s most iconic illustrators. It was followed by beautiful blue butterflies basking by a babbling brook and a host of other creatures including eight enormous elephants expertly eating Easter eggs; horrible hairy hogs hurrying homeward on heavily harnessed horses; meticulous mice monitoring mysterious mathematical messages; and even zany zebras zigzagging in zinc zeppelins.
For this was the magical, mystical, marvellous Animalia – an alliterative alphabet book and which, after selling more than three million copies worldwide and spawning a television series, is now celebrating its 30th birthday and a whole new audience is set to wonder at its creativity, its detail, its colour and try to spot the tiny Graeme on each page. It is indeed a feast of vivid visual literacy. And underneath the familiar dust cover which so cleverly hints at what is inside is a glamorous golden cover AND a fabulous poster of the lazy lions lounging in the local library. (Great role models for reading!!!)
Since Animalia’s original publication we have come to associate Graeme Base with intriguing stories woven around the most scintillating illustrations and if this is your first introduction to his work, you will be on the lookout for his other works.
Congratulations Graeme – thank you for bringing us these superb creatures and creating such riches for our young readers.