Animalia) latest innovative effort. Successive spreads introduce a gro"/>
 

THE WATER HOLE

Graeme Base, Author
Graeme Base, Author . Abrams $18.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8109-4568-5
Reviewed on: 10/22/2001
Release date: 09/01/2001
Prebound-Sewn - 32 pages - 978-1-4177-0497-2
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-14-240197-2
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Readers will find more to see the longer they linger over the enticing pages of Base's (Animalia) latest innovative effort. Successive spreads introduce a growing number of animals (from one rhino to 10 kangaroos) at a water hole which, as viewed through die-cut ovals of progressively decreasing size, becomes smaller with each turn of the page. Though the minimal, somewhat quirky text makes no reference to the locale depicted in each mixed-media painting, images in the background of the various landscapes help pinpoint the country or continent in focus (e.g., Mount Rushmore is visible through the trees that flank five North American moose lapping up water and the Great Wall of China looms behind seven thirsty pandas). Borders at the top and bottom of each spread feature silhouettes of 10 animals indigenous to the spotlighted locale. In the accompanying illustration, Base cleverly conceals renderings of these creatures, subtly working them into the vegetation—and sometimes into the remarkably lifelike images of the featured animals themselves. Keeping these creatures company—and adding a dose of whimsy to the visuals—is a cast of diminutive frogs, bedecked in pearls, knit caps and shirts. Though the animals disappear when the water hole dries up, rain eventually falls and the earth springs back to life. Base's final panorama reveals all the species gathered peacefully at one much larger water hole, bringing his story to a hopeful close. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)

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