Graeme Base is one of the world's leading creators of picture books. His alphabet book Animalia, received international acclaim when it was first published in 1986, and has achieved classic status with worldwide sales approaching three million copies. It has now inspired an animated TV series. Other favourites by Graeme Base include The Eleventh Hour, My Grandma Lived in Gooligulch, The Sign of the Seahorse, The Discovery of Dragons, The Worst Band in the Universe,The Waterhole (and The Waterhole Board Book), Jungle Drums and Uno's Garden. In 2007 this last title featured in six major awards and was winner of three- Speech Pathology Book of the Year, younger readers; The Green Earth Book, USA; The Wilderness Society Environment Award. In 2003, his first novel for young readers, TruckDogs, was released. It was short-listed for the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards the following year. In 2009 Graeme produced the the fascinating, beautiful and challenging book Enigma; can you crack the code? Graeme's most recent book is The Last King of Angkor Wat. Graeme lives in Melbourne with his artist wife, Robyn, and their three children - James, Kate and Will. Visit graemebase.com
Graeme Base gives an old favorite new life with the abridged, pop-up version of My Grandma Lived in Gooligulch. Pelicans flap their cardboard wings while wombats, bandicoots and Australian wildlife pose in pictures. Missing from this adaptation, however, is the key naming the animals in the illustrations (Abrams, $19.95, 18p, all ages ISBN 0-8109-4288-7 Dec.).
Gr 1-5 Tall tales should start from a believable base, and Grandma is sufficiently eccentric and spirited to convince readers that she just might ride a kangaroo around town and dine with emus. Children will be delighted by her many strange adventures, shared with a menagerie of Australian animals, in this beautifully illustrated story-poem. Best known for Animalia (Abrams, 1987), Base alternates between subdued sepia-toned line drawings and richly colored, very detailed illustrations that burst the boundaries of oversized, double-page layouts. Realism and exaggeration are blended almost perfectly and complement the poem's humor. This is a good choice for group use, as children will enjoy trying to find Grandma in several scenes. Certainly not an essential purchase, but a fun way to meet Australia's unique animals and an exciting new illustrator. Jeanette Larson, Mesquite Public Library, Tex.