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Wallace's Lists Hardcover – June 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Three reasons to read coauthors Bottner and Kruglik's (Pish and Posh) new tale: 1. The two unlikely mouse heroes—the cautious, list-making Wallace and his light-hearted companion Albert—develop a friendship in which Wallace's shortcomings turn out to be assets. 2. The book might dare readers to discover something new about themselves, too. 3. The plot inspires Landström's (the Boo and Baa series) tongue-in-cheek artwork, which provides lots of witty entertainment. Wallace, a bespectacled mouse in shorts and a bowtie, wants to say hello to his new neighbor, but he can't—it's not on his list of things to do that day. (Readers are treated to many of Wallace's lists, written neatly on lined paper.) Albert wears an old undershirt, sports long hair and never hesitates to revise his plans: "Changing my mind is an adventure," he tells Wallace, who listens, appalled but rapt. Eventually Albert's rash adventure-seeking casts Wallace in the reluctant but gratifying role of hero. He remains steadfast in crises, it turns out, and comforts Albert when his wacky plans go awry. Taking a leaf from classic '30s cartoons, Landström furnishes interiors with many small but solid-looking items, visual tokens of Wallace's need for familiarity. His hilarious spreads make liberal use of crosshatching and gestural lines: cats are drenched with water; lightning strikes; luggage carousels send Wallace flying. Bottner and Kruglik don't insist on a magic transformation from Wallace—he just has to learn to bend a little. This one goes on the recommended list. Ages 4-7. (June)
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From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2–An earnest and likable mouse is so careful that he lives his life by lists. When a new neighbor introduces himself in the hallway of their apartment building, "Wallace would have liked to say, 'Hello. My name is Wallace,' but saying hello was not on his list." Albert's spontaneity and joie de vivre slowly win him over. The story culminates in a whirlwind adventure through the airport, into a luxury high-rise, and then back home again, where Wallace makes another list with his new best friend's name on it. The writing is memorable, and the authors provide just the right details. Larger than life in all sorts of ways, the chubby Albert spouts wise statements such as "Laundry is laundry... but music is life!" Landström's pictures are expressive and witty, with soft colors, strong lines, and lots of personality. The world depicted is an intriguing one, an urban setting where the mice-sized mice coexist with human-sized humans. With its positive message about trying new experiences and embracing the horizon-expanding wonders of friendship, this picture book is a winner.–Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 710L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books (June 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060002247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060002244
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.3 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Barbara Bottner began writing for children in the 1970's, when she broke her leg doing off-Broadway Theater and decided to consider a different career. Having gotten a degree in painting, she began to hang out in the children's book section of libraries and bookstores. She was amazed at the originality of the art and fell in love with picture books. Slightly fickle, she also wrote I Can Reads, eventually middle grade and YA novels. She stretched out into writing for television and film and also published essays and short stories in national magazines. She returned to writing books for children and Bootsie Barker Bites, illustrated by Peggy Rathmann, a classic, was translated into eight languages and animated for television. Barbara prevailed upon her MD husband, Gerald Kruglik, to co-write Wallace's Lists, illustrated by Olof Landstrom, which was also animated, (Weston Woods) is translated into Swedish and is forthcoming in French.
Barbara collaborated with Michael Emberley, resulting in Miss Brooks Loves Books (and I don't). Anyone who's ever struggled with falling in love with reading, or is the parent or teacher of a picky reader will rejoice in the way Miss Brooks handles a curmudgeon of a first grader. Miss Brooks Loves Books has appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List and is nominated for the prestigious Bill Martin Jr. Award. Barbara teaches writing and consults with writers all over the country; she was honored to receive the New School Distinguished Teaching Award in 1990.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 20, 2005
Format: Library Binding
Wallace the mouse makes lists-lots of lists--and follows them to a T. He's not distressed by this penchant; it's just his way. However, Wallace adheres so strictly to his lists that they're somewhat maladaptive; for example, he seems intrigued by his new mustachioed neighbor Albert, but Wallace doesn't greet him. Why? Because he hadn't put 'greeting a new neighbor' on his list. Somewhere Wallace didn't quite get the balance between structure and spontaneity. In contrast, Albert is a free spirit with a Zen-like knack for living in the moment. His spontaneity (as well as his slightly bohemian apartment) baffles Wallace:

"'Changing my mind is an adventure,' Albert explained. `I don't like adventures,' said Wallace. `An adventure can be anything. Anything that isn't planned for.' `You mean anything that isn't on a list?' asked Wallace. `Exactly!' said Albert." For some reason, Wallace then asks, "Do you ever use a map?" and Albert paraphrases a famous line from the film, "The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai:" "I don't need maps...because wherever I go, there I am."

Albert, however, doesn't always plan things very well. When he drills a hole to hang a picture, he leaves a big gaping hole as goes all the way through the wallpaper to the brick wall. Luckily, Albert isn't fazed; he covers the whole with a brick. Wallace gets a case of the "What ifs" at Albert's casual attitude towards adventure ("But what if you get lost?"). Albert answers with a certain joie de vivre ("Being lost is automatically an adventure"). While their stances are diametrically opposed, Albert exhibits a fond acceptance of Wallace.

Before you can say "Odd Couple," the two rodents are on the road to friendship, and plan a trip to Glockamorra together.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 25, 2005
Format: Library Binding
If someone were to walk up to you, place a gun to your head, and demand that you tell them the name of at least one really great Swedish children's book illustrator, how would you fare? What if it was a banana they held to your head? A mild sedative? Well, thanks to "Wallace's Lists" you need never fear this potentially dangerous/messy/sleepy scenario again. It is illustrated by the uniquely talented Olof Landstrom, and written by the delightful Barbara Bottner and Gerald Kruglik making it one of those rare Swedish/Florida crossovers that's so hip with the kids these days. The book points out the potential pitfalls that come when a person plans out their life a little too well and fails to allow for any variety or excitement. And though this lesson might be better suited for a fifty-year-old, within the context of the book it works rather beautifully for little children.

Wallace has it all figured out. Whatever it is he wishes to do with his day, he first makes a list. Wallace is a bit of a list addict. He has lists of his favorite stories and pets and weather and all sorts of stuff. He even has a huge book of them all collected together. One day a new fellow moves in next to our hero. The new guy, Albert, is far more adventurous than Wallace, and suggests that the two of them take a trip to Glockamorra. When Wallace sleeps in and Albert takes this non appearance as a sign that he's not interested in the trip, Albert leaves on his own. What Albert doesn't know is that a dangerous storm is on its way. Wallace must warn him before it's too late. Even if that means not adhering to lists.

I was deeply glad that this book didn't turn out to be a kind of odd couple/Ernie & Bert tale done in picture book form with mice.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Boca Mom on March 9, 2005
Format: Library Binding
My son loves this adventure story of friendship.

This is one of those great books that a parent doesn't get bored reading. There is a great message about friendships and risk taking for every age. The pictures are great too!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ohioan on June 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A delightful, heart-warming book in which Wallace the mouse, an inveterate list-maker, meets Albert, a rodent with a penchant for the unplanned. Making lists and then methodically doing the things on the list makes Wallace feel secure, even though he yearns to follow his new friend Albert, who is so spontaneous. But Wallace just can't break away from his need to make a list of the day's activities and then stick to that list. Until he senses that Albert might be in danger. Then Wallace jumps into action, has unplanned-for adventures, and makes the longest list of his life. A great book, to be read over and over. The illustrations are wonderful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We checked this out at the library and loved it so much we had to have it for our home collection. The illustrations are very entertaining and add to the story; both characters are absolutely loveable. But not only is it a sweet story of friendship and bravery and trying new things, it can also be a gentle reminder to those of us "big people" who make lists and schedules and then live our lives by them religiously, to loosen up a little. One to read again and again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pia on November 21, 2005
Format: Library Binding
this is a fantastic book. my sons and i read it many times together and i even had to read it by myself too. it is thoughtful, intelligent, moving and very funny both for children and adults. this is a must read!
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