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You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When It Monsoons - The World on One Cartoon a Day Paperback – April 25, 2006

4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gr. 12 and up. After college, Caldecott Medal winner Willems took a year-long trip around the world with a backpack and a sketchpad. Every day, he drew a picture to capture the highs and lows of his experience. Now, 15 years later, his artwork has been collected and organized into this cartoon roundup, with pictures accompanied by brief explanatory passages. His trademark irony is very much on display, and even in prototypical form his style is quirky and extremely charming. But there's also a sense that readers are watching the world's longest slideshow, with intermittent insight into the curious--for example, how gravel roads in Indonesia are made, why it's important to avoid Canadian customs inspector #1508. In the end, that may limit the book's audience to browsers and older teens and twentysomethings who may be dreaming up crazy adventures of their own. Some (cartoon) nudity. Jesse Karp
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

About the Author

Mo Willems is the New York Times best-selling author and illustrator of picture books and early readers that have changed the face of children's literature. He has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions, and two of his Elephant and Piggie early readers have received a Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal. His most recent picture book is Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, of which the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books wrote: "Willems continues to be a master at conveying an amazing amount of emotion and humor using ... minimal elements" in a starred review.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1St Edition edition (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786837470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786837472
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #396,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
When you think about it, picture book author/illustrators by and large do not suddenly come out with thick memoir-like tomes. Not even Maurice Sendak has done it. It just isn't done. So when I found myself hefting Mo Willems's handsome 396-some encapsulation of his time spent traveling around the world in 1990, I didn't quite know what to make of the idea. Willems is cute as a button and he pens a mean pigeon but can he ... (how shall I put this?) ... well, can he do a book that isn't five-year-old-centric? Apparently, yes. Yes and indeed and thank you kindly, m'am. Taking a concept for a book that could've easily ended up as a better idea than product, Willems has put together a thoughtful look at how we've changed in the eyes of the world, how the people of the world appear to us, and how difficult it is to cultivate an "us" vs. "them" mentality when you've just met the "them" firsthand.

It was a kind of cartoon diary. When young Mo Willems, future cartoonist/author/Nickelodeon pawn, graduated from college he took his newfound freedom as an opportunity to take the ultimate worldwide unguided tour. Patches in place on jeans and sideburns making their, "precipitous drop toward my shoulders", Mr. Willems chose to record his experiences in the form of a cartoon a day. These cartoons are of a wide and somewhat assorted variety. They may be illustrations of all the goatees seen that day, or a picture of a long skinny Mo reenacting a situation. They might even be just a view of something he found particularly touching or sweet, like a boy watering a public tree. There are some constants, of course. Each cartoon includes the date, a description, and where Mo was on that given date. Usually there is also an additional comment below this information at the bottom of the page.
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Format: Paperback
This book is absolutely delightful. When the author was just out of school, he took a trip around the world, and each day he drew the one thing that stuck out in his mind. Fifteen years later, he added commentary and occasionally context to each cartoon, and publishes the whole darn thing.

The things he records is what the rest of us usually remember the best when we come back from a trip. This book doesn't consist of pictures of landmarks and more landmarks. It's a true distillation of his experiences, and it bounces from funny to poignant to regretful and back again. His Dutch grandmother is distressed to discover that a year traveling around the world doesn't include 10 months visiting her in Holland, and he gets pickpocketed by one of three men, but he doesn't know which one. He regrets being wary of two Iranian men he met at the time, the Turks are offended when he tries to locate malaria pills in their country, and he gets embarassed when someone fusses over the cold he got from partying too much in Pamplona.

It's not geared towards kids at all--I never even heard of Mo Willems when I picked up this gem. It's a truly wonderful travelogue though.
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Format: Paperback
Mo's newest book is a "page-turner" for the armchair traveler with a sense of humor. Each page has a great cartoon of a unique time and place. I especially enjoyed Mo's impressions of places I have been; his graphics refreshed and enhanced my own memories. This is a great gift idea for the college graduate (unless, of course, you want them to go get a job instead of seeking adventure first!)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It seemed funnier when I read the excerpts, but it was clever and not too expensive. I was going to send it to someone in Asia, but decided to wait until they got home to give it since postage there is so high.
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Format: Paperback
Before Mo Willems became a children's book author, he packed sketchbook and set out to explore the world. At the end of each day he drew a cartoon of a single event which stuck in his mind - and his sketch diary YOU CAN NEVER FIND A RICKSHAW WHEN IT MONSOONS: THE WORLD ON ONE CARTOON A DAY is the result. Each page holds a full-page black and white panel blending humor with observation. An excellent choice for cartoon fans and travelers alike, a foreword by Dave Barry adds to the package.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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