Gift Guide

Iris and Walter

( 2 )
Sending request ...


Everything looks rosier when you make a friend!

Iris is sure that life in her new home will be just awful. There is nothing to do and no one to play with in the country. Iris will never be happy there. Then Grandpa suggests a walk. Down the road and around the bend, they discover a huge green tree, a secret hideaway--and a boy named Walter. Maybe life far from the city won't be so lonely after all.

About the Authors:

Elissa Haden Guest is the coauthor of Girl Stuff: A Survival Guide to Growing Up. She lives in San Francisco, California.

Christine Davenier has illustrated numerous children's books, including Very Best (Almost) Friends: Poems of Friendship. She lives in Paris.

When Iris moves to the country, she misses the city where she formerly lived; but with the help of a new friend named Walter, she learns to adjust to her new home.

Read More Show Less

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)
From the Publisher
star "Splendid . . . Readers will delight in the youngsters' friendship."--School Library Journal
"Iris and Walter will join Frog and Toad and Henry and Mudge in a prominent place on the easy-reading shelves."—The Bulletin
Children's Literature - Susan Hepler
When Iris moves from her city apartment to the country, she cannot find anything to do until she makes a new friend, Walter. Told in four chapters, the text appears in pleasant blocks that will not be daunting to new readers. Throughout the text there are references to life in the city versus in the country and how lonely Iris is. Her wise grandfather takes her on a walk and they discover a teahouse and a young boy named Walter. Together they make the most of life in the country and when Iris reflects back on the things she liked about the city, she is no longer sad because she has a new friend and together they have discovered the joys to be found in country life. 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. The original picture book has moved to a new format as a level 3 book in the "Green Light Readers" series "aimed at those children reading independently. It is also identified as Guided Reading J, Reading Recovery 17, and has an interest level for grades one to three. Reviewer: Susan Hepler, Ph.D.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402586217
  • Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
  • Publication date: 4/14/2004

Meet the Author

Elissa Haden Guest has written ten books about Iris and Walter. She lives in San Francisco, California. Visit her website at

Christine Davenier lives in Paris. She has also illustrated the Very Fairy Princess books by actress Julie Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2011

    Highly Recommended!

    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!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2004

    you should read this

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)