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Iris And Walter

Iris And Walter

4.0 2
by Elissa Haden Guest, Christine Davenier (Illustrator)

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Iris and Walter can't wait for opening day of their first school play. Walter helps Iris make her costume. Iris helps Walter practice his lines. When Iris wakes up sick the day of the play, it looks like the curtain is going up on disappointment.


Iris and Walter can't wait for opening day of their first school play. Walter helps Iris make her costume. Iris helps Walter practice his lines. When Iris wakes up sick the day of the play, it looks like the curtain is going up on disappointment.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When Iris moves reluctantly to the country from her home in the big city, she finds a friend in Walter. In a starred review, PW called this "a knockout kickoff to a beginning reading series." PW said that the duo in their further adventures are "as engaging as ever." Ages 6-9. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Four gracefully paced chapters, stylish illustrations and a design that allows plenty of breathing room add up to a knockout kickoff to a beginning reader series. Guest (Girl Stuff) lays out the central conflict in the first sentence ("When Iris and Iris's family moved from the big city to the country, Iris was sad"). Davenier's (Leon and Albertine) corresponding pen-and-ink and watercolor-wash illustration takes up most of the spread: a car on a rural road drives into the sunset, as a crestfallen Iris gazes out the rear window, back toward the city. The rest of the first chapter evocatively recounts in just how many ways the girl pines for her former home (e.g., "the long hallway where she roller-skated on rainy days"; in the illustration she appears like Alice in Wonderland bursting out of the corridor). Iris's parents try to cheer her up, but only Grandpa knows what she needs. He helps Iris discover a new friend, Walter, and soon she is savoring country life. Guest forswears a pat resolution--the city still occupies Iris's thoughts, conveyed with a skillful and unobtrusive use of repetition ("She dreamed of her noisy street and her wide front stoop. She dreamed of tango music and of roller skating down long hallways"). Guest's economic eloquence is in perfect sync with Davenier's elegant watercolor and ink drawings; the illustrator's urbane graphic sensibility and lush palette of blue and purple hues bring to mind vintage New Yorker covers. Ages 6-9. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
When Iris moves from her city apartment to the country, she can't find anything to do until she makes a new friend, Walter. Told in four chapters, the text appears in pleasant blocks that will be undaunting to new readers. The watercolor wash and ink line illustrations depict a family in a European setting—French farmhouse, license plates, and a fanciful countryside of lanes and flowers. A pleasant story and one that suggests the start of a series as this is Book 1. 2000, Gulliver Books/Harcourt, $14.00. Ages 5 to 8. Reviewer: Susan Hepler
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-In this beginning chapter book, Iris has moved from the city to the country, and she is not impressed. There are no noises, no stoops to sit on, and seemingly, no children. Her parents encourage her to play in her new yard to no avail; it is her grandfather who finally takes her for a walk and she meets Walter in his tree house. The two become fast friends and Iris learns to appreciate country life. She rides the boy's pony, plays hide-and-seek, and rolls in the grass. The only flaw in the story is that when her pal asks her about life in the big city, all she has to say is, "there are lots and lots and lots of people." Walter replies that in the country "there are lots and lots and lots of stars," and the discussion abruptly ends there. The exchange seems stilted and preachy, and Walter appears to be either very wise or very boring. The pen-and-ink illustrations are a bit sloppy and have a limited palette of primarily greens, blues, and pinks. Overall, though, the story does work, showing the positive qualities of different lifestyles and that friends can be found anywhere.-Holly Belli, Bergen County Cooperative Library System, West Caldwell, NJ Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Guest and Davenier (Mabel Dancing, 2000) kick off an easy-reader series featuring a city girl and a country boy. Missing the accustomed crowds, noises, and street games of her old home, Iris is unhappy out in the country—" ‘as lonely as Mars,' " she complains—until she meets Walter, a lad with a tree house, a pony, and a new way of looking at the world. In no time, she's teaching him how to roller-skate indoors, while he's pointing out stars and sharing his hat collection. Though Iris's hair is an odd, bright blue and Guest tends to repeat phrases—not necessarily a weakness at this elementary reading level, but not natural-sounding either—fledgling readers will be drawn to this easy, four-chapter friendship story. Davenier's scribbly, freely brushed illustrations, all blues, yellows, and greens, place Iris and Walter into a properly idyllic rural setting. It's well-traveled territory, but always worth a visit. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Iris And Walter
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

ELISSA HADEN GUEST is the award-winning author of the Iris and Walter series. She lives in San Francisco, California.

CHRISTINE DAVENIER is the acclaimed illustrator of the Iris and Walter books, and she received a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year Award for The First Thing My Mama Told Me by Susan Marie Swanson. She lives in Paris.

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Iris and Walter 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic book about a little girl who leaves the life she knows in the city to move to the country. She's lonely until she meets Walter. It's a very heart-warming story and my students love it!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is about this girl.she moves to the contry and she does not like it there.She has no one to play with.Then her and her grandpa take a walk and they see a big green tree and they saw a latter and she climed it and there was a boy named walter she was happy to meet him they played every day&night.After that she was happy agin.