My First Animalia – introducing the classic to a younger audience


Animalia is the first book that I recall my son poring over. He’s an animal lover and has an eye for fine detail – Animalia could have been written just for him. A new edition of this classic has just been published for toddlers – a scaled down, simpler version of the original, yet retaining all of its appeal.

Using vignettes from the original Animalia illustrations and an enticing lift-the-flap format, Graeme Base has created My First Animalia.

For each letter of the alphabet, young readers search for just four hidden elements in each picture – an apple, an accordian, an acorn and an ant in the  opening illustration – “An armoured armadillo avoiding an angry alligator” and so on through to the final picture of zany zebras and the hidden zipper, zodiac, zeppelin and zither.

Of course, keen observers will spot all sorts of other things beginning with each letter in the illustrations, which is the enduring fun of this book.

My First Animalia is suitable for children aged one year and over. It can be found at all good bookstores and online directly from the publisher, Penguin.


Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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