Hey Willy, See the Pyramids

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"A young boy pleads with his older sister for some bedtime stories, and Lulu obliges with some brief, highly imaginative tales that are matched to perfection with Kalman's friendly illustrations, electric and eccentric. Childlike but with a cutting, surreal edge, these pictures are wildly funny. This is a free-spirited book that will engage children on many levels." (School Library Journal)

When Alexander has trouble falling asleep late at night, he wakes up his ...

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Overview

"A young boy pleads with his older sister for some bedtime stories, and Lulu obliges with some brief, highly imaginative tales that are matched to perfection with Kalman's friendly illustrations, electric and eccentric. Childlike but with a cutting, surreal edge, these pictures are wildly funny. This is a free-spirited book that will engage children on many levels." (School Library Journal)

When Alexander has trouble falling asleep late at night, he wakes up his sister Lulu and asks her to tell him stories.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This book, by the illustrator of David Byrne's Stay Up Late , is one of the more unusual offerings of the season. Alexander has trouble falling asleep and begs his sister Lulu to tell him stories. ``How many?'' she asks. ``A million?'' ``No.'' ``Five?'' ``OK, five.'' Lulu begins her inventive, peculiar tales. Cross-eyed dogs, geniuses and bathing beauties pepper the landscape as Lulu weaves the familiar with the unfamiliar. ``Aunt Ida and Uncle Morris had a dog named Max. Max wanted to live in Paris and be a poet. In the evening Max would tiptoe down the hall, with a suitcase, trying to sneak out of the house. Ida would say to Morris, `Quick, Morris, catch the dog.' '' Later the dog sits in a cafe drinking black coffee and writing. ``Dig that boy with the box on his head. Is he buying bread? Is his name Fred?'' Kalman's unique illustrations are drawn from the far reaches of the imagination. The bizarre and the commonplace are mixed brilliantly, theatrically punctuated by black pages with the dialogue of the sleepy siblings shown in white type. Although this will not suit everyone, the stream-of-consciousness style is one that many will embrace uncritically, assisted by the colorful images and humorous figures that are scattered throughout. Ages 3-8. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3 A young boy pleads with his older sister for some bedtime stories, and Lulu obliges with some brief, highly imaginative, tales about ``four very tiny people. . .walking very fast. . .carrying little instruments''; Maishel Shmelkin, who ``forgot to wear his pants''; and Max, a dog who ``wanted to live in Paris and be a poet.'' These are not polished stories, but germs of ideas that are matched to perfection with Kalman's friendly illustrations, electric and eccentric. Child-like, but with a cutting, surreal edge, these pictures are wildly funny. While the book will have limited use in a group setting, there are secrets hidden here to fascinate children. They will happily scrutinize the illustrations, delighting in finding a dog on a unicycle, a tree-person, and exotic dancers. The funkiness of the drawings belies their sophistication. Children can use these pictures as springboards for their own creative artwork or storytelling, as they are involving and lend themselves to interpretation. The book design is distinctive. Scratchy sketches on chartreuse endpapers set the tone of the book, and white type on solid black spreads shows the children's nighttime banter. Lulu's stories generally appear on left-hand pages, facing full-page depictions of the images that she conjures. Hey Willy, See the Pyramids is a free-spirited book that will engage children on many levels. David Gale, ``School Library Journal''
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670821631
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/1988
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.36 (w) x 8.38 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Maira Kalman

In her own words: "born. bucolic childhood. culture-stuffed adolescence. played piano. stopped. danced. stopped. wrote. discarded writing. drew. reinstated writing. married Tibor Kalman and collaborated at iconoclastic yet successful design studio. wrote and painted children's books. worried. took up Ping-Pong. relaxed. wrote and painted for many magazines.  cofounded the Rubber Band Society. amused. children: two. dog: one."

Biography

Maira Kalman is an award-winning artist, illustrator, and product designer. She has illustrated numerous covers for The New Yorker magazine and has written and illustrated more than a dozen children's books. Her articles and illustrations have appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, Interview, and many other publications. Kalman has designed products for the Museum of Modern Art under the M&Co. label, fabric for Isaac Mizrahi, accessories for Kate Spade, and sets for Mark Morris Dance Group. A teacher of graduate design at the School of Visual Arts, she lives in New York with her two children and a dog.

Author biography courtesy of the New York Public Library.

Good To Know

Kalman told us that she is the co-founder of the Rubber Band Society, is looking for a job in a café, adores ping-pong, and is very, very neat.

"My short attention span has allowed me a life of diversity in work and place, Kalman explains. "I work for The New Yorker, The New York Times, and other publications. I design products for The Museum of Modern Art. I design fabrics, and accessories for Kate Spade, fabric for Isaac Mizrahi."

"I travel as much as I can without being miserable from jet lag," she reveals. "I always remember that I don't really know what I am doing, and armed with that knowledge am very sure of myself."

Kalman reflects, "I consider my work to be about humor and love of life, and can do that when I am not terrified, which is often, but there you go."

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 15, 1949
    2. Place of Birth:
      Tel Aviv, Israel
    1. Education:
      New York University, 1967-70
    2. Website:

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