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Where's Walrus? Hardcover – February 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; First Edition edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439700493
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439700498
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 10.5 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-K-With the zookeeper on his trail, an escaped walrus hides out in the city: in a fountain, a soda counter, a department-store display window, a brick wall under construction, a line of firemen spraying a burning building, and a group of artists painting in the park. His trick is to blend in to each particular scene. However, he can't help but stand out in a diving competition where he wins a gold medal. The walrus then returns to the zoo and entertains the crowds with his dives. The collagelike illustrations in this wordless book were created in Adobe Illustrator. They are large, clear, and simple; the colors are bright, although flat. Young children will take delight in their ability to spot the wandering walrus; older kids might see this book as a humorous Where's Waldo spoof.-Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review

Intelligently illustrated, the book leaves readers to wonder if Walrus' adventures were all mischievous spontaneity, or did he wittingly go astray? Refreshing, captivating, elegant and witty. (Picture book. 3-7)
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

The read-it-yourself wordlessness, visual humor, and sheer absurdity of a walrus' urban adventures will surely appeal to youngsters with a taste for the incongruously silly. DS --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

It's a thrill of the chase for all. --Chicago Tribune

AWARDS:

- ALA Notable Children's Book
- Wall Street Journal, Top Ten Book of the Year
- Publishers Weekly, Top Ten Book of the Year
- The Horn Book, Best Children's Books of the Year
- Kirkus Reviews, Best Children's Books of the Year
- New York Public Library Best Book for Reading and Sharing
- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon

The Wall Street Journal
January 2011
Elementary-school children relish the challenge of finding visual clues in picture books, hence the popularity of intricately designed puzzle series such as \u0022Spot Seven,\u0022 \u0022I Spy\u0022 and \u0022Where's Waldo?\u0022 Younger children enjoy the hunt too but, being smaller, generally need less complicated images on which to test their wits. Stephen Savage's picture book \u0022Where's Walrus?\u0022 (Scholastic, 32 pages, $16.99) is an especially funny and stylishly retro-looking option for this nursery-school crowd. In its clean, colorful pages, a walrus escapes from a pool at the zoo while his keeper snoozes. When the man eventually gives chase, the walrus eludes capture by cleverly blending into various city scenes. On the cover, for instance, we see him wearing a fedora, smiling tuskily at us from a diner counter, where he is getting a cup of coffee. He poses with mannequins in a shop window, lays bricks with a row of workmen, insinuates himself into a line of firemen and dances onstage in a string of showgirls. The keeper catches up just in time to see the walrus infiltrate a diving team and perform a somersaulting high-dive (which little children will enjoy tracing with their fingers). When the walrus wins both applause and a gold medal, the keeper conceives of a brilliant idea—think big pool and diving board—for keeping both the animal and zoo visitors happily entertained in the future.


Kirkus Reviews, starred review
January 15, 2011
It's another slow day at the zoo—not. The keeper has nodded off, and all are asleep—all, that is, except Walrus. The seemingly content creature carefully assesses the situation from his small, raised pool. In one quick flip, he\u2019s off scurrying toward…freedom? A flowing fountain ahead, a shocked zookeeper behind, and loads of fun awaits! So begins the visual hijinks. Walrus, always one step ahead of his mustachioed caretaker, manages to build structures, fight fires and dance the cancan, all before winning an attention-grabbing platform-diving competition. His crowd-pleasing performance leaves the zookeeper thoughtful. Thus, Walrus returns to a refurbished home—complete with diving pool—and to new audiences attracted to the zoo. Minimal linework and simple blocks of color done in a cool, playful palette contribute to a \u201950s, modern aesthetic. Savage thoughtfully applies his graphic approach to Walrus\u2019 industrious exuberance, surrounding him with postwar-boom references. In his world, people are active; they\u2019re building and creating, and there\u2019s possibility in the air and opportunity for play. The expressive characters also brim with personality and charm. Intelligently illustrated, the book leaves readers to wonder if Walrus\u2019 adventures were all mischievous spontaneity, or did he wittingly go astray? Refreshing, captivating, elegant and witty. (Picture book. 3-7)


The Horn Book, starred review
March/April 2011
A sleeping zookeeper, wide-open gates, a clever walrus—a slow day at the city zoo is about to get a lot more interesting. In this wordless look-and-find book, the walrus escapes from his small pool and heads out the gates; the now-alert zookeeper immediately sets off in pursuit. But everywhere he looks, from the fountain to the diner, from the construction site to the theater, the walrus is nowhere to be found. Or is he? With the right headgear and attitude, the walrus hides easily in plain sight over and over again. Preschoolers will love being one step ahead of the clueless zookeeper, who doesn\u2019t notice the fountain\u2019s new mermaid statue or the store mannequin with tusks or the stage dancer with flippers and a tail instead of feet. Savage\u2019s stylish digitally created illustrations feature clean shapes, strong lines, and solid blocks of color. The graphically appealing scenes are easy to read, allowing even the youngest viewers an opportunity to interpret the action. The silly search comes to an end at a diving competition, and when the gold-medal winner\u2019s swim cap comes off, the poor zookeeper finally gets a clue…and an idea for how to keep the walrus happy and boost zoo attendance. The satisfyingly circular ending gives Where\u2019s Walrus? a flipper up on that guy in the striped shirt.


The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
February 2011

In this wordless picture book, an adventurous walrus slips out of the zoo as the keeper naps, and the enterprising marine mammal leads his would-be captor on a merry chase through the city. After successfully hiding himself amid group after group of people, he finally tips his hand—flipper?—by winning a diving contest; the thoughtful keeper then creates a happier home (and a zoo showpiece) for the walrus by providing him with his own diving board and regulation pool. The visual gag of the walrus’s blending into various lineups merely by adding an accessory (a plume on his head means the zookeeper can’t find him amid the Rockettes, a hard hat is sufficient to disguise him in a line of bricklayers, and it’s the removal of his diver’s bathing cap that finally outs him to his pursuer) is an amusing one, cleverly conveyed, and while there’s not much plot beyond that, it’s still a giggle-worthy and creatively interpreted conceit. The trim illustrations are digitally created, with the smooth regularity and crisp clarity common to that medium, but there’s a generous helping of Little Golden Book retro style that gives a period flavor to the escapade. The palette, carefully limited in each spread, sports muted shades of aqua and navy in addition to its predominant gray, but the creamy white of the matte pages ensures that the spreads stay bright and sunny. The shapes balance sturdy rectangles with the rounder shapes of people and Walrus, with Walrus’ odd-critter-out status visually emphasized by the droll Fisher-Price sameness of the humans among whom he’s attempting to secrete himself. The read-it-yourself wordlessness, visual humor, and sheer absurdity of a walrus’ urban adventures will surely appeal to youngsters with a taste for the incongruously silly.


More About the Author

Stephen Savage is known for his economical style of illustration that conveys complex ideas and emotion with simple lines and color. His books include the acclaimed New York Times bestseller Polar Bear Night, the lost Margaret Wise Brown manuscript, The Fathers Are Coming Home, and the wordless picture book Where's Walrus? His editorial illustration has appeared in dozens of major newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic and The Wall Street Journal. In 2008, he was the recipient of a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and their daughter. Visit his website at http://www.stephensavage.net and his blog at http://stephensavageillustration.blogspot.com.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Read aloud a book with no words.
Emma Larson
The book also provides a great opportunity to discuss how illustrators use different art techniques to focus the readers attention.
Heidi Grange
I like the conflict between the zookeeper and the walrus and the win/win resolution at the end.
M. K. Lee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. B. Wilkes on March 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a sweet and funny book about a rascally Walrus who has his own notion of how to spend a fun day: out of the Zoo! The Zookeeper(who sports a walrus mustache) chases after him, only to be foiled by Walrus's many disguises and clever hiding spots. The story is told by pictures only, which means that we get to tell it as we see it, and our boys(ages 4 and 1.5 yrs) get to tell us their own versions as well. The illustrations are simple and bright; the story has a lovely ending that showcases the Walrus's very special talents. A real treat and one that we are so glad to include in our family library!

My 4-yr-old adds by way of his own review:
"I like 'Where's Walrus?' because it is about a Walrus who run away and gets chased around. I like running and chasing too. It is a good chase book!"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Heidi Grange on February 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Walrus is bored at the zoo in which he lives and sneaks out to find some excitement. The zookeeper pursues him from place to place. Walrus disguises himself as he moves from fountain to diner to storefront window to construction site and several other places before ending up at a diving competition. The zookeeper finally lures the walrus back by providing a pool with a diving board allowing him to showcase his prowess.

I shared this book with the kindergartners at my school and they enjoyed it immensely. I had several requests afterwords by students who wanted to check it out. The book is wordless, telling the story completely through the illustrations and the children got a big kick out of helping me make up the story to go with the pictures. The book also provides a great opportunity to discuss how illustrators use different art techniques to focus the readers attention. Savage does a great job of using color, diagonal lines, white space, and shapes to guide the reader's eyes where he wishes them to go. This book is a delightful read-a-loud and I recommend it highly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Emma Larson on February 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Last weekend we had an event with the author in my store and I had to read it aloud for storytime. Read aloud a book with no words. I was a little nervous to say the least, but it ended up going great. The kids were engaged and participating. There was a big discussion about can-can dancers and feathers in one's hair and about how many of the kids had been to Central Park. Really the illustrations speak for themselves in a lot of ways and I can't recommend it enough. I hope others will choose it for storytime too. I promise you won't be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dienne TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In this wordless picture book, the zookeeper lounges idly while all the animals nap in their pens. All except one, that is. Sensing his opportunity, the wily walrus makes a break for it and eludes the zookeeper by hiding, like Waldo, among a group of similar-looking people or objects. He "hides" in a fountain, impersonates a mannequin, and joins a chorus line, to name a few. Finally, the zookeeper pursues the walrus to a diving competition where the walrus wins first place. This gives the zookeeper an idea.

The walrus is, of course, a lot easier to find than Waldo, but young children will still have a zany time picking him out from his improbable disguises. Because the book is wordless, even the youngest children will be able to "read" it themselves. My daughter's favorite part is where the walrus winks at us at the beginning. 4.5 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jr on April 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a teacher, having a well stocked classroom library is a must. Even though this book is wordless, there are so many reading comprehension activities and writing workshop ideas that can be generated from this book. And kids love it! What more do you need?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Catherine W. Hughes on April 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
While the zookeeper snoozes, the walrus runs away, hiding in the world at play. The zookeeper steadily chases after the walrus, unable to distinguish his clever disguises. After the walrus wins a diving competition, the zookeeper finally brings him back to the zoo, giving him a diving platform and a larger pool. This wordless adventure across the city will be fun for children ages 2-5.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By dancemom on June 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This wordless book was a joy to share with my preschool class of four and five year olds. My group of "almost-ready-for-kindergarten-ers" is tough to engage at this time of year, but all were captivated by the walrus who sneaks out of the zoo and hides from the zookeeper. They asked and answered plenty of questions, and were thoroughly entertained. This is nothing like the Where's Waldo books, by the way. No looking through the pages to find the escapee. He's hiding in plain sight. The joke is that the zookeeper can't see him. The cover gives a good clue to the humor and art. I predict that it will become a classic. Highly recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By daddy223 on March 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Purchased for 5 year old. There are no words with this book. Need to be creative when going through the pages and be ready for lots of questions from your child when reading. If you enjoy story telling this is for you, but if you would rather read from the pages and not think too hard, grab something else.
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