Chester

Chester

4.5 6
by Mélanie Watt, Melanie Watt
     
 

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Chester is more than a picture book. It is a story told, and retold, by dueling author-illustrators.

Mélanie Watt starts out with the story of a mouse in a house. Then Mélanie's cat, Chester, sends the mouse packing and proceeds to cover the pages with rewrites from his red marker, and the gloves are off.

Mélanie and her

Overview

Chester is more than a picture book. It is a story told, and retold, by dueling author-illustrators.

Mélanie Watt starts out with the story of a mouse in a house. Then Mélanie's cat, Chester, sends the mouse packing and proceeds to cover the pages with rewrites from his red marker, and the gloves are off.

Mélanie and her mouse won't take Chester's antics lying down. And Chester is obviously a creative powerhouse with confidence to spare. Where will this war of the picture-book makers lead? Is it a one-way ticket to Chesterville, or will Mélanie get her mouse production off the ground?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
This sidesplitting metafiction offers further proof of Watt’s ... extravagantly fresh, cheeky voice.

Highly Recommended

Highly Recommended

School Library Journal

PreS-K
While the conceit behind this book is quite clever, the presentation will be puzzling to young children and won't be of interest to those who are old enough to "get it." Watt begins writing a story about a mouse that lives in the country. However, her cat, Chester, wants the story to be about him, so he takes a red marker in paw and begins to write his own tale in addition to, and sometimes instead of, the author's. The book needs to be read in two voices (the author's and the cat's) in order to make sense to young listeners; but even then, there is not enough plot to garner their interest, and the concept will require too much explanation. The "story" is merely about the pair's test of wills. Charming pencil and watercolor illustrations, assembled digitally, depict Chester as a pudgy tabby and the mouse as tiny and gray. The chances of this book being requested more than once are remote.
—Maryann H. OwenCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Melanie Watt is NOT the author of this book-Chester, her plump calico cat with the big red marker, is. Mouse is NOT the star of the story. Chester uses his red marker to edit the story, sending Mouse on a vacation: "Hasta la vista, Mousie!" Mouse returns from Mexico with a big bulldog. Chester uses the power of the pen to make the dog vegetarian. Melanie and Mouse try to take back control, but Chester edits himself a perfectly Chester-filled day. Melanie rains on his parade, so Chester writes THE END. When Melanie capitulates and makes Chester the star, he's not the least bit happy with the wardrobe. Canadian creator of Scaredy Squirrel, Watt has concocted an excellent and decidedly silly addition to the meta-textual picture-book canon. Chester is a cheeky and delightful author/hero. He's even conveniently marked a place on the cover of his book for an award sticker. Highly recommended. (Picture book. 5-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554534609
Publisher:
Kids Can Press, Limited
Publication date:
08/28/2009
Series:
Chester Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
103,789
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.10(d)
Lexile:
350L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Mélanie Watt is an acclaimed children's book author and illustrator. Her books include the Scaredy Squirrel, Chester and Learning With Animals series, Augustine, Leon the Chameleon and Have I Got a Book for You! She lives near Montreal.

Mélanie Watt is an acclaimed children's book author and illustrator. Her books include the Scaredy Squirrel, Chester and Learning With Animals series, Augustine, Leon the Chameleon and Have I Got a Book for You! She lives near Montreal.

Customer Reviews

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Chester 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
CueLaughter More than 1 year ago
I read the two editorial reviews on this website. The review by Maryanne Owen proves that she must be the stereotypical hair-in-a-bun, cold, humorless, "Shhhhh-ing," librarian. She is the one who doesn't "get it." This book is absolutely fabulous. It is ingenious in that it entertains the child and the adult. It is filled with clever details that adults can appreciate in the same way Pixar does this in Toy Story (and others). Also, there are many, many details for the child to discover in the writing and the illustrations and even in the book flap. I've read this aloud to many classes and they adore it. They laugh and fully enjoy spotting the details as if they were looking at an I Spy book. Any adult or child with a cat will "get" the character of Chester, the cat. The author has obviously spent many an hour with a pampered feline to be this cleverly insightful. I absolutely applaud the outstanding creativity at the heart of the book; it is not just another story about a cute furry kitty. Chester engages with the author and therefore, the reader feels at ease in engaging in a conversation about the book (and its' ongoing changes). It makes for a delightful, interactive experience. I love that Chester is not filled with pathetic, watered-down humor, but humor that children can relate to because it is real. It is humor they find in the quirky charm of a sibling that always wears a cowboy hat or that of a single-minded pet that will not stay off their father's morning newspaper, no matter how many times he's removed. Humor and laughter do abound and are enough to justify reading this over and over, but there is a lesson in it, if you choose to communicate it: being self-absorbed and pestering to get your way does not work. A conversation with a younger child could be about whining. With an older child, the conversation could go to compromise or not bullying to get his way. I have given this book to my school's library and to many, many children. I think it makes a great gift, especially when paired with its' sequel, Chester's Back. I can tell you the real "experts," do "get" this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a delightful book for the child (girl or boy) and for the parent. My 6 yr. old loves it and wants to have it read to her every night before bed. We bought it for her school library in honor of her birthday. Now we will have to buy another just so we can have it at home all the time. It's a very charming book. At the very end, I was wanting more dialogue. But it's still very cute book for any child. I think this particular book needs to have it's own series going and see what else Chester is up to. It has a potential Garfield-feel about it. I hope to see more from Chester and Melanie Watt.
dyrrah More than 1 year ago
My kid has all three Chester books and loves them.
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