One of our favorite new wordless picture books is Where's Walrus? by Stephen Savage. My preschool-age son has wanted to "read" this walrus book nearly every day for the past month!
Where's Walrus? by Stephen Savage. Scholastic Press (February 2011); ISBN 9780439700498; 32 pages
Book Source: Copy from public library
All is quiet and peaceful at the zoo but Walrus apparently needs a change of pace. He decides to escape from the confines of the boring zoo and explores the city, careful to remain hidden from a searching zookeeper who tries to discern Walrus's whereabouts. To disguise himself Walrus literally tries on all sorts of different "hats," different life experiences. He blends in with firefighters, cabaret dancers, painters and more. Eventually he plunges headfirst into a perfect opportunity.
First of all, the design and straightforward illustrations in this book are fantastic. The uncluttered images and bold clean lines show off Savage's stellar graphic design talents and look modern and retro at the same time. Although Walrus tries to blend into various scenes, he's ridiculously and joyously easy to find (for all except the zookeeper...all those hats sure trick him). Kids won't have any problems spotting Walrus in the pictures, thus no frustration. In fact, when reading the book, my kids point out ways walrus could better camouflage himself. Did Walrus escape the zoo with a plan in mind or did he just luck out in life? Guess Savage leaves that part of the story up to the reader's imagination.
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OK, Mr. Savage. We fully enjoyed the "Where's Walrus" search, but one question lingering on our minds is where are Walrus's whiskers? There is a hint of a few whiskers opposite the copyright, dedication page but for the remainder of the book, Walrus's whiskers seem to have vanished! The zookeeper has a nice full "walrus" mustache but poor Walrus is without his characteristic thick and bushy stache. We know full well from our research that a walrus depends on his whiskers to help locate food.
We decided to help Walrus out with a Letter "W" Where's Walrus's Whiskers craft! To make this craft, I traced Walrus's face onto a piece of gray paper, using the large walrus image opposite the copyright page as a guide. My son and I discussed how Walrus's mouth is shaped like the letter "W" while we glued the walrus picture onto a white sheet of paper. My son then broke thin spaghetti into small pieces. He glued the spaghetti pieces onto Walrus's snout and added two paper tusks. Finally, Walrus has found his whiskers!
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