Saturday, February 16, 2013

Graeme Base

Allow me to introduce you to your new favorite picture book author...that is if you haven't already met!  Reader meet Graeme Base am amazing, fantastic, wonderful, author and illustrator of stunning picture books.  He is both an author an illustrator of all of his books and all of his illustrations are done with elaborate detail.  I was first introduced to Graeme Base books when, in high school, I read the Sign of the Seahorse.  Shortly there after I came across the book The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery and that was the book that truly turned in into a devotee.  I was in college at the time and my boyfriend (now he's my husband) and I spent a few happy hours engrossed with the book pouring over the pictures tyring to solve the mystery.  It was his first encounter with Graeme Base and he was instantly hooked as well.   Over the years I've developed a small collection of his books.  What makes them so great is their wide ranging appeal.  The rhyming language in books like the Sign of the Seahorse appeal to the very young, even though they have no hope of following the plot.  The story is suitably complex for older readers (say fourth grade on up) and the pictures are just stunning and make reading the book a treat for any adult.  The Eleventh Hour: A Curious Mystery has the same appeal.  On the surface, the story is simple enough to appeal to a young reader, but the mystery and again the stunning pictures (which this time play an important part in the mystery) keep even older reader enthralled.

When my husband and I found out we were expecting we added one more book to our Graeme Base collection, Animalia.  This ABC book puts all other ABC books to shame.  The book is filled with Base's brilliant pictures.  Each page features alliterative tongue twisters.  The pictures, as in all of his books, seem to unfold in layers.  Just when you think you've found all of the hidden quirks in his illustrations you'll notice something you over looked the first hundred times you read the book.  I would say if you had money to buy only one ABC book this would be the one to buy.  Long after your child has lot interest in other ABC books, he'll still love to read and look at this one.

Here's a mini-list of some of my favorite Graeme Base books.  Get your hands on one (or all) of his books soon.  They are perfect for filling the time on these cold winter days and nights!

Sign of the Seahorse
The Eleventh Hour: A curious Mystery
The Water Hole

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