Animalia

Graeme Base‘s Animalia is an abecedary that is also a bestiary, with many fantastical creatures, all alliteratively tied to the letter at hand. (Apparently, it also has a tie-in television series and an iPad app, but I prefer the old-fashioned, turning pages kinda book myself.) Publisher’s Weekly: “Base has created an ABC book that goes far beyond a simple listing of items in alphabetical order. There are captions or headlines accompanying each letter’s scene, such as ‘Eight Enormous Elephants Expertly Eating Easter Eggs,’ or ‘Two Tigers Taking the 10:20 Train to Timbuktu.’ Each picture is replete with an apparently random choice of objects that have in common (on every page but the one for the letter X) their first letters. This Australian import makes for a delightful visual feast, though it lacks a clear conceptual coherence . . . No matter: readers will have a fine time guessing at objects and searching for a small child who hides among the pages; and the meticulous artistry is far-reaching in its innovation, detail and humor. . . If books could be honored for the sheer number of hours readers could pore over crammed pages, and for the inexhaustible supply of extra touches, this one surely would be a winner.” Giggle factor: varies. Adult enjoyment: if you like art. Higher if you like puzzles. Illustrations: four jelly jars.

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~ by kaychubbuck on July 6, 2011.

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