- Age Range: 4 - 8 years
- Grade Level: Preschool - 3
- Lexile Measure: 820L (What's this?)
- Paperback: 40 pages
- Publisher: Candlewick; Reprint edition (August 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0763610526
- ISBN-13: 978-0763610524
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.2 x 10.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 92 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#26,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #239 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Friendship, Social Skills & School Life > Self-Esteem & Self-Respect
- #880 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Friendship, Social Skills & School Life > Friendship
- #1227 in Books > Children's Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy & Magic
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Weslandia Paperback – August 1, 2002
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What do the children you know usually do when school is out for the summer? Go crazy with boredom? Head poolside with friends? Plan a self-sufficient civilization with its own staple food crop? That is precisely how Wesley decides to spend his summer vacation. Wesley is not an ordinary boy: "He alone in his town disliked pizza and soda, alarming his mother and the school nurse. He found professional football stupid. He'd refused to shave half his head, the hairstyle worn by all the other boys, despite his father's bribe of five dollars." It all starts (the civilization, that is) when Wesley overturns a plot of ground in his yard to see what new and unknown seeds might blow into it. Curiously, just one kind of plant grows--an unusual, flowering, fruit-bearing plant that tastes of "peach, strawberry, pumpkin pie, and flavors he had no name for." Soon, Wesley is literally reaping the fruits of his labors--using the fruit rind to make a cup for the juice he squeezes, barbecuing the root tubers, and weaving the bark into a hat to keep off the sun.
In Wesley's new world, he no longer needs a watch because he uses a flower stalk as a sundial, dividing the day into 8 segments, one for each of the flower's petals. A new language (based on an 80-letter alphabet) and counting system (based on the number 8) soon follow. Ah, Weslandia. Slowly but surely his once-tormenting classmates become curious. And soon enough, Wesley allows them to help him crush seeds for oil, which "had a tangy scent and served him both as suntan lotion and mosquito repellent." He also invents sports that are less distasteful to him than football--"games rich with strategy and complex scoring systems," and watches patiently as his classmates blunder. Wesley's parents say that he looks happy for the first time in years. And when he returns to school in September? "He had no shortage of friends." Newbery Medal winner and onetime alternate-world creator Paul Fleischman shines in this deadpan-but-hilarious picture book, and illustrator Kevin Hawkes's splendid paintings will delight young readers with the explosion of colorful, comical details. Kids young and old will love the once-outcast hero Wesley and his Robinson Crusoe-style triumphs. (Ages 8 to 11, or for reading aloud to younger children) --Karin Snelson
From Publishers Weekly
A young nonconformist invents a self-sufficient civilization in his suburban backyard. "Words and images fluidly play off one another as Wesley creates a language for his new produce and the crop erupts into a lush tropical landscape," wrote PW in our Best Books citation. Ages 4-9. (Aug.)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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This book is fantastic though and it addresses lots of great concepts-- social studies, writing, science, math, language...
It can also be extended really easily for your gifted learners. I've done lots with this book. Get it, but make sure you're ordering it from a company that ships properly.
The story itself appealed to them also. Nowadays, consumers - such as my children - of products - such as Cheerios - are really quite separated from the producers of products - such as General Mills. We've discussed Wooly Mammoth hunters and how they got almost everything they needed to live from the mammoths, and we've talked about the rise of early civilizations such as Mesopotamia and Egypt, but the idea of living off what you could catch or grow was still quite theoretical to them.
Weslandia brings that concept home and makes it real because it starts in a place they are quite familiar with - a suburban back yard. While Wesley sleeps, mysterious seeds are planted (blown in by the wind, no less), and an entire civilization is founded from the resulting crop. They enjoyed seeing how the civilization developed - first the "staple crop" provided food, then shelter and furniture, then clothing, and so on.
This is one book we got from the library and subsequently purchased.