One of my favourite books from years ago, I finally picked up a copy for myself the other day This beautifully and cleverly illustrated children's book is just as much fun when you're an adult Each page or doublepage spread conjures a letter of the alphabet with rhyming alliteration and illustrations full of things starting with that letter We used to have races to find and list as many words as we could from the pictures, and we had a jigsaw puzzle of the Crimson Cats page Endless fun for kids and a great way to learn new vocab. Although I do quite enjoy Graeme Base's Animalia as a general concept, the intricate and involved illustrations do seem incredibly over busy and much too inone'sface for them to ever be even remotely considered personal favourites (as I tend to rather crave and even require visual simplicity and unclutteredness, and sadly, upon rereading Animalia, the overbusyness actually started to give me a bit of a sick headache) And really, the sheer amount of objects playing hide and seek within the illustrations is rather majorly daunting to say the least, especially since one is not even sure exactly how many hidden images there are in each section, in each given picture spread (which is why I most certainly would really have appreciated and actually required a list of hidden objects included, either at the back of the book, with corresponding page numbers, or preferably, underneath each of the illustrations) Now I do believe and even realise that Animalia has a lot of what I would label kid appeal (but for someone like me, with less than stellar eyesight, the sheer masses of hidden objects can easily prove to be a bit massively overwhelming at best) But that being said (and even though I have only rated Animalia with a high two star ranking), aside from the book teaching and practicing the alphabet, alliteration, rhyming and the like, the hidden images might also be a useful tool for working on pattern recognition with children (as well as adults) who have focusing and visual tracking issues (the latter factoid being yet another reason why a list of the specific hidden objects to be located in Animalia would have been a welcome and much useful addition). I found a copy for a friend's grandchild This reminded me to have a look at my own copy I have just had a lot of pleasure, not only looking at the beautiful pictures, but appreciating Base's rich use of language I blush to say I didn't find all the little Graemes A beautiful body of work that took Base three years to complete.It can't be a spoiler to show one (ok two!) pictures Just gorgeous.I used to own as well While I didn't enjoy that book quite as much I'm sad that it appears to be missing Hopefully a copy will turn up at my work. Rabid Reviewer Raves Raucously Re Regal Rudiments for ReadingOkay, parents and grandparents (and those who have no progeny), this is the GREATEST graphical alphabet book for youngsters, young readers, old fogies, and any other group of Englishlanguage readers whatsoever.Each letter of the alphabet gets either a full page, or a twopage spread of beautiful color art depicting numerous animals and items which start with the given letter Perfect for an oldie and a youngster going through together, looking at each item in the picture and figuring out (if they can) what word the wonderful Graeme Base had in mind.Over 3 million copies of the book have been sold In 2012 a 25th Anniversary edition was published.Example of a twopage spread.Man, if only this book could have timetraveled back to my young reading days Previous review: Richard III ShakespeareRandom review: The Classical Greeks great book, portraits of three dozen Greeks from the Classical periodNext review: The Taming of the ShrewShakespeare 2009 Feb 19I'm a bad parent to have held out the Graeme Base books from the Offspring (but they're signed, and they have little Base doodles, and they're mine) The PandaBat is now enthralled We hunted down little Graemes for an hour.***2020 May 23I spent an hour last night looking for the little Graeme in the B picture I don't know if this demonstrates that my memory is going or just my eyesight. A splendid ABC book! What I love is that the phrases for each letter are very involved, lots of great words here, no dumbingdown for kiddies Also, while I at first thought there was just a random collection of misc images in the pictures (the animals are the main focus) I soon realized that Base was adding lots of OTHER images with the given letter For example: Unicorns for U is the main focus, but then if you look carefully you can also see umbrellas and Union Jacks in the picture Neat! Kids will love that I didn't give the book five stars because, alas, I'm not really a fan of his illustration stylethis is just personal taste and I think this is a great alphabet book! This is an amazing book The illustrations are truly stunning On the inside back cover it’s mentioned that it took the author over 3 years to create the illustrations for this book and I was not at all surprised It can take a very long time to read this 32 page book, not because the text takes that long to read, but the illustrations are so profuse that it can take ages to find everything on each page This can be read by children to themselves but it’s muchfun to read it with one another and point out all the A, B, C, etc items on each page This book would make a lovely gift for 48 year olds, and I very much enjoyed pouring over it myself Next time I’ll do it with a child or two and it will be evenfun I’d recommend it to most 48 year olds, although there are a few illustrations of things that could be frightening for some sensitive children. My ardor for this amazing book really cooled once I noticed the swastika Am I too sensitive? Is it weird that Ior less accepted the kangaroo kidnapping a lady koala with a kalashnikov, but I draw the line at Nazi symbols? In any case, this book is incredible and my toddler loves it, but I never could quite enjoy it the same way again and there are a lot of other children's books out there that don't have hidden swastikas and who knows what else in them. I love this book so much! I practically lived in it when I was kid. More than three million copies of Animalia have been sold around the world, making Graeme Base’s amazing alliterative alphabet book one of the most beloved titles of the past quarter century To celebrate thirty years, Abrams is proud to publish a special anniversary edition Animalia’s incredible imaginary world intrigues all readers Each page includes hidden objects and ideas: start with “A is for An Armoured Armadillo Avoiding an Angry Alligator” and you’ll find aprons, ants, aces, Atombrand anchovies, and much The rest of the alphabet is just as much fun!