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4.23  ·  Rating details ·  23,217 ratings  ·  648 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 25th Anniversary Edition, 32 pages
Published September 15th 1987 by Harry N. Abrams (first published 1986)
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  23,217 ratings  ·  648 reviews

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LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! Brilliant Book.

I have read many ABC book to the kids over the years and this by far is the very best of them. There is alliteration - love it, and it good alliteration too. There are all kinds of animals, instruments, food and miscellany on the page that starts with the letter. Sometimes you have to think how it's being used. This was a joy. It was the smallest details that were so enjoyable.

The never-gonna-stop nephew looked at this for an hour looking for all the little deta
mark monday
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: alpha-team, kidworld
I love this book so much! I practically lived in it when I was kid.
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Rabid Reviewer Raves Raucously Re Regal Rudiments for Reading

Okay, 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 English-language readers whatsoever.

Each letter of the alphabet gets either a full page, or a two-page 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
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
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 The Eleventh Hour by Graeme Base as well. While I didn't enjoy that book quite as much I'm sad that it
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 in-one's-face 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 over-busyness actually started to give me a bit of a sick headache). And really, the sheer amount of objects playing hide and seek within the il ...more
Dec 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
A splendid ABC book! What I love is that the phrases for each letter are very involved, lots of great words here, no "dumbing-down" 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. Ne ...more
Kaethe Douglas
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
2009 Feb 19

I'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 23

I 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.
Lisa  (not getting friends updates) Vegan
Sep 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who ever thought alphabet books were boring, most 4-8 year old children
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 much more fun to read it with one anothe ...more
My ardor for this amazing book really cooled once I noticed the swastika. Am I too sensitive? Is it weird that I more or 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. ...more
Apr 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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 double-page 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 ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Alphabet Books and/or More Interactive Picture-Books
From the armoured armadillos avoiding the angry alligators to the zany zebras zigzagging in zinc zeppelins, the animals in this imaginative alphabet book put on quite a show. Each letter is alliteratively exemplified in both text and image, with any number of other objects and animals, besides the main ones that are actually named, hiding in the artwork. The result is a book that rewards a closer examination, and that will provide young children with hours of amusement as they pore over the illu ...more
Steve Holden
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Last review of June (although I'm behind a few days with a busy schedule) bringing me to an approximate halfway point on this challenge/goal. I recently saw this book, and I gravitated towards it and was again with my nose inside. I spent many similar afternoons and evenings like so as a child. Wow, did I love this book as a child. Hands down, from my experiences as child and emerging reader, the best ABC book I laid hands on. The illustrations are entertaining and captivating to look at - even ...more
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A charming abcedary that little kids won't mind being read to from, and adults will enjoy reading out of to. My favorite is the "C" two-page spread, in which a crawdad, a creek, and a can (that once held Coca-Cola), as well many other items beginning with "C," battle it out for visual supremacy. The artwork is so far above the norm that in this reviewer's opinion it counts as classic. ...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone!
An absolutely gorgeous alphabet book, with my favorite ever L page "Lazy Lions Lounging in the Local Library". See how many items you can find that start with the featured letter. C'mon, it's fun!
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Henry Martin
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
A great ABC book with fascinating illustrations. I just spent almost an hour looking at the base of every picture, trying to find all the other 'hidden' images that start with the same letter as the main theme.

This is a great book to read along with inquisitive children, as their curious eyes hardly miss anything.
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I always knew Graeme Base was good, but it was a touch of divine inspiration that really made me praise him. Tucked away in the bottom right corner of Animalia’s D page, just below a dachshund, you can see the corner of a piece of paper. Most of it runs off the page, but you can read “1 Thou shalt have no”. Clearly it’s the beginning of the Ten Commandments. Why is it on the D page? Because the Ten Commandments are also known as the Decalogue.

Disappointed as I was that baby Heidi failed to appre
Nov 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's two ways to do an alphabet book. The first is to have each letter firmly illustrated by one - and only one! - item. The second, which is the approach taken in this book, is to have as many items as possible crammed onto each page.

The result is an alphabet book that grows with your kid, because even a grown-up can spend a lot of time quietly poring over the pages of the book to catch one last detail, find one more F word, locate the boy in the striped shirt on every page.

There are a few p
Sep 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
I am very in the minority here, but when I read this book as a kid I just felt really overwhelmed by the illustrations. They were just so full and busy that it was too much for me. When I read it again yesterday I had the same feeling. I love the words and the way the author uses such a vast vocabulary, it's a great book for that. I just find myself getting really frustrated when I read and wanting to clean up each page to make it less "messy." ...more
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I can't believe it took me until my 5th child to find this book. The illustrations are luscious - you could spend hours picking out the details. I am buying this one in hardcover. If you have a pre-k/kindergartener, be sure to check it out!
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I love this book! Sometimes I get out my copy and look for the objects in each book just for the fun of it. Being a librarian, my favorite picture, of course, is the library lions!
Hannah Owens
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I must have checked this out from the library a hundred times.
OMG, I wish I had had this book when my kids were young. They would have loved it. The illustrations remind me a little bit of Jan Brett, also a favorite, but the details are similar to the hidden things books. The book takes you through the Alphabet, but for each letter, there are alliterative phrases that both describe the scene and feature that letter. But even cooler is that hidden on each page are multiple examples of other items that represent that letter. For example, the letter D has "Di ...more
Amy Bruestle
I read this as a kid. Good book to learn about animals. I am trying to go back and review as many books as possible that I have "read" so that in the future I can read my reviews and remember more about each book. So sorry for the news feed full of random reviews of kids books! ...more
Dec 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Highly entertaining! Despite much searching on each page, I'm still finding things I missed. Fun for kids and adults. ...more
Rosemary Sullivan
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
"Animalia" is a fun, colorful safari ride through the alphabet. The book is bursting with illustrations of animals, from peacocks to lions and animal legends, such as unicorns and dragons. The writing is joyful and silly.

The road map for the journey features each letter of the alphabet, from A to Z with zany alliteration. For instance, "G," reads "Great Green Gorillas Growing Grapes In A Gorgeous Glass Greenhouse." Sure enough, there are shamrock green gorillas.

But there are also several other
Jul 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those children's books that I bought long before I had a child. Pretty much as soon as I spied it in the library I knew I had to have it. It's a great book that works on so many levels. For one thing, it's gorgeous. It is hard not to admire the splendid illustrations, and it's even harder to put the book down. Then there is the wonderful, witty alliteration (yeah, I did that on purpose). But it is so clever and unexpected. This is not your standard alphabet book.

This book is a gr
Jun 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Lush alliteration and gorgeously detailed pictures are just a few of the reasons why we really like this alphabet book by Graeme Base. The numerous inclusion of items that begin with each featured letter scattered throughout each page makes the entire book a treasure hunt. And I even liked the way he handled the letter 'X' - it can be such a troublesome letter and there was nary a xylophone in sight. I love it!

This book was selected as one of the books for the October 2013 - Alphabet books discu
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I don't understand the less than average ratings for this book. This book is not an "A is for Apple" book, it has more depth than that. Sure, a world like ventriloquist is not as easy as a word like "van," but that's the point of teaching kids. By the time they are learning to read and write, they are far more advanced verbally than their little eyes are able to read. So parents and teachers don't treat them like babies, but start to teach, and stretch their little minds and understanding. Huge ...more
Amazing illustrations... every child worth his or her salt in primary school owned a copy of this and The Eleventh Hour! (And a box of Derwents too, for that matter.) The most fun the first time you reach the end as well:

A final word before we go;
There's one more thing you ought to know:
In Animalia, you see,
It's possible you might find me.

Whereupon you have to scour through each page all over again to find Graeme! It's like Where's Wally only BETTER.

ETA 20/10/2012: I also now own a miniature pap
Amazing alliteration ambitiously alleviating aspiring alphabetically astute apostles of abject and abhorrent allusions by applying appropriate and approachable animals while incidentally illuminating inquisitive inquirers with inspiring illustrations.

I originally encountered this book in elementary school because a teacher of mine had been so smitten with the illustrations. I've never forgotten it, nor its surreal nature. It's been floating around in my memory for years, and came to the forefron
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Graeme Rowland Base is a successful Australian author and artist of picture books that have been sold internationally. He is perhaps best known for his second book, Animalia published in 1986, and third book The Eleventh Hour which was released in 1989.
He was born in England but moved to Australia with his family at the age of eight and has lived there ever since. He attended Box Hill High School

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