Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
Base (The Water Hole) here accessibly dives into such ecological themes as extinction, overpopulation and the balance of nature. Uno, with elongated face and bulbous nose, builds his home in an exotic forest. His one house quickly gives way to a village and finally, a polluted city devoid of animals and plants-except for those preserved in the hero's small garden. Rebus-like equations in the upper right corner of each page or spread catalogue the decreasing flora and fauna, and the increase in the number of buildings. Children will appreciate the composite animals with names such as Lumpybums (one-eyed, duck-billed monkeys with purple bumps on their backsides). Though the animals begin to disappear with the encroachment of the city, they make a comeback by book's end-with the exception of the mysterious Snortlepig (a hybrid of armadillo, dog and pig). The book's large square trim size and polished spreads, aided by the tally of creatures on the top borders, invite readers to participate in a seek-and-find. Reflecting the theme of balance, Base's diverse stylistic elements satisfyingly coexist (e.g., realistic renderings of fantasy animals; organically shaped foliage juxtaposed with angular skyscrapers). Just when youngsters might conclude that the human footprint is nothing but bad, Uno's garden provides the genesis for rebirth. A dramatic gatefold reveals a new, harmonious human coexistence with nature. While ending on a hopeful note about the power of one person (Uno) to make a difference, the missing Snortlepig drives home a somber point. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
Gr 2-5-This timely book focuses on the importance of striking a balance between development and conservation of nature. When Uno moves to the forest, he is surrounded by 100 plants and a variety of imaginary animals, including the common Snortlepig. He plants a garden. As more and more people arrive and build houses, stores, and businesses, the plants and animals begin to disappear. Eventually, all that remain are buildings surrounded by gray skies, and the people abandon the city, leaving Uno, his little garden, and the Snortlepig. His children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren take care of the plot after Uno is gone and keep track of the creatures they see. Slowly the environment recovers. The Snortlepig, however, has disappeared. At first, the illustrations are colorful with fanciful animals and plants, but they become dark and grim as nature is crowded out. The earth rebounds, and so does the color. Students will enjoy searching the pictures, counting the plants and animals, and finding the elusive Snortlepig. This is an effective starting point for discussions about conservation, with some math lessons along the way.-Christine Markley, Washington Elementary School, Barto, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Uno loves the forest and builds his home among colorful plants and the wondrous Moopaloops, Lumpybums, and Frinklepods. The beautiful setting soon draws other creatures, and the village grows into a bustling city. But as development continues, plant and animal life decrease, sending residents to greener pastures, leaving Uno and one Snortlepig tending the last little garden. Ultimately, Uno's descendants nurture the forest back into balance with human life. Base's imaginative, intricate pictures occupy most of each double-page spread; running across the top of the pages are brief text and math equations, accompanied by visual icons to help children keep track of the increase and decrease of the various creatures and buildings. Providing plenty of opportunity for seek-and-find fun, the vibrant art also visually reinforces the progressive change, and a double gatefold spread at the close dramatically shows the city and forest in balance. An appended note explains the numbers games. This is both a visual treasure trove and a cautionary yet hopeful tale of environmental awareness and responsibility. --Shelle Rosenfeld Copyright 2006 Booklist
Horn Book Review
This book is part fantasy, part environmentalist allegory, and part math lesson. Uno builds a hut in the forest to live among the moopaloops and snortlepigs. Others follow, and eventually a huge city springs up. Over time, future generations restore balance to the world. The extravagant pages are packed with oddly proportioned creatures. An oversize gatefold spread displays their strange utopia. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Book Review
Base plays with words, images and even numbers in this lavishly illustrated introduction to the importance of natural balance. Delighted by the sight of ten Moopaloops, 100 plants and even a single, ordinary Snortlepig, Uno builds a cabin within a lush forest. Soon he's joined by other settlers, who increase even as the flora and fauna decrease on every spread--culminating in a sterile city surrounded by polluted waters. After the inhabitants all depart in disgust, Uno's descendants build more carefully, and as time goes on the Pricklebacks, Flipperflaps, Moopaloops and other fanciful creatures come back . . . except for the Snortlepig, who remains absent even when a climactic, teeming double gatefold scene reveals a harmoniously balanced community of small dwellings carefully dispersed amidst equal numbers of plants and animals. Depicting humans with comically sheep-like features and populating his world with a host of extravagantly odd animals, Base provides a visual feast that makes his point in a simple, direct but never overly earnest way. (Picture book. 7-10) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.