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Graeme Base Graeme Base i(A42321 works by) (a.k.a. Graeme Rowland Base)
Born: Established: 1958 Amersham, Buckinghamshire,
United Kingdom (UK),
Western Europe, Europe,
Gender: Male
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Graeme Base came to Australia with his parents in 1966 at the age of eight. He attended Melbourne High School and from about the age of twelve he knew that he wanted to be a commercial artist. He studied graphic design at Swinburn College of Technology for three years and then joined the advertising world, creating newspaper advertisements, a job that he loathed. In his spare time Base did some freelance work for book publishers, illustrating book jackets and building up a portfolio.

His first publication was a book in verse with illustrations, My Grandma Lives in Gooligulch published in 1983. This was followed by perhaps his best known and most successful work, Animalia (1986) which gained him significant international attention and for which the illustrations took three years to complete. Over two million copies of this alphabet book have been printed world-wide. In 1987 it won several awards including being named an Honour Book in the Children's Book Council of Australia awards. The Eleventh Hour an illustrated mystery in verse which appeared in 1988 drew on his ideas collected in the game parks of Kenya and Tanzania. The clues to solve the mystery posed by the story are all to be found in the detailed illustrations.

One of Base's other great loves is music and he played drums before moving on to keyboard in a band called Rikitikitavi - the name was inspired by, although differently spelled from, Rudyard Kipling's mongoose. In 1999 he combined illustrating and music to produce The Worst Band in the Universe, which contained a CD of songs by entrants in the Worst Band in the Universe competition. Among his other publications are Days of the Dinosaurs (1985) a calendar titled Dragons, Draaks and Beasties which he followed up with The Discovery of Dragons in 1996. The Waterhole (2001) is a counting book in the style of Animalia with a similar level of illustrative detail. Base works in watercolours and transparent inks, but not oils, using whatever tools are necessary to create the effects he strives for.

Most Referenced Works


  • Base has also illustrated children's books by several other authors.
  • Voted number 17 in the Booktopia Top 50 Favourite Australian Authors for 2018

On the Web

Personal Awards

Awards for Works

Eye to Eye 2015 single work children's fiction children's

'Imagine you could soar high in the sky with an eagle or dive into the deep with a majestic blue whale.

'Come eye to eye with some of nature's most impressive creatures as Graeme Base takes you on a richly illustrated journey of imagination and possibility.' (Publication summary)

2016 Children's Book Council Book of the Year Awards Notable Book
2016 longlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Book of the Year for Younger Children
The Last King of Angkor Wat 2014 single work children's fiction children's fable

'Tiger, Gibbon, Water Buffalo and Geeko are sitting amongst the ruins of ancient Angkor Wat, wondering which of them would have made the best king.

'The appearance of a mysteries visitor leads them to discover their true selves in a race to a distant hilltop.

'A timeless fable full of adventure and beauty from a much-loved storyteller.' (Publication summary)

2015 shortlisted West Australian Young Readers' Book Award Picture Books
Little Elephants 2012 single work picture book children's 'The wheat is ripe, but the harvester is broken and a plague of locusts is on the way. It looks as if Jim and his mother may lose the farm. But when Jim show kindness to a stranger, their fortunes are set to change in the most surprising way imaginable!' (From the publisher's website.)
2013 shortlisted Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards Young Children
2013 shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Book of the Year for Younger Children
2012 winner Aurealis Awards for Excellence in Australian Speculative Fiction Children's Division Best Children's Fiction (Told Primarily Through Pictures)
Last amended 4 Apr 2018 18:46:40
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