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“Scenic, dreamy, and dramatic . . . conveys a vast range of emotions and paints a picture of the love and trust between true friends.”
—School Library Journal
"This was my (Phil’s) absolute favorite book of the year. I love this book. Erin and I taught a writing workshop this year as a fundraiser. We made sure to read this book aloud to a room of adults as an example of how to write a beautiful book."
—Philip and Erin Stead, author and illustrator of Caldecott-winning A Sick Day for Amos McGee
Two lumpy stuffed animals pack up a red balloon, wave goodbye to their potted pet cactus and set sail in a paper hat to find the end of the world—a place they hope has enough lemons for an endless supply of lemonade and a staircase to the moon!
Quiet, concise language and poignant watercolor illustrations pull readers into this far-out fable about a friendship between a toy elephant (Hopper) and a yellow mouse (Wilson). Children will immediately like these two funny little guys, whose exposed stitching make them seem both Velveteen and vulnerable. They'll also fall for the book's soothing cadence and rolling rhythms. Simple sentences beat up against gestural artwork like small waves on a ship's bow. Sensitive line work and atmospheric washes of cool colors communicate the depth of Hopper and Wilson's friendship and their shared despair when a storm separates them at sea. A frightening spread of the two caught in mammoth, murky waves causes trembles; a chilling, misty sequence of lonely Wilson calling hoarsely for his buddy brings tears. The reunion is inevitable and immensely moving. Hopper, a small, blurry smudge far, far away, shouts from an entire page of white space, "Wilson, is that you?"
Winsomely ambiguous and otherworldly, this sweet, quirky story offers fantastic footholds for dizzying discussion. (Picture book. 4-12)
Posted July 3, 2011
This touching story is about two friends, Wilson a small yellow mouse and Hopper a blue elephant who wonder what they might find at the end of the world. Hopper dreams of a staircase to the moon, while Wilson dreams about lemonade, lots of lemonade. So the two decide to set sail for the end of the world, but this journey leads to disaster when the two are separated after a large waves throws Hopper out of their paper boat. This trip ends with the realization that everything they need has always been at home: each other. This book is beautifully illustrated, the contrast between the water color and the newspaper boat is striking. The story and artwork are sure to evoke many feelings and great discussion.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.