A Weekend with Wendell

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Overview

Wendell was spending the weekend at Sophie's house. Playing house, Wendell was the mother, the father, and the children; Sophie was the dog. Playing bakery, Wendell was the baker; Sophie got to be the sweet roll. Wendell shone his flashlight in Sophie's eyes when she tried to sleep. But when he gave her a new hairdo with shaving cream, it was the last straw, and Sophie made up a game that left Wendell speechless for a time — and won the day for friendship.

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Overview

Wendell was spending the weekend at Sophie's house. Playing house, Wendell was the mother, the father, and the children; Sophie was the dog. Playing bakery, Wendell was the baker; Sophie got to be the sweet roll. Wendell shone his flashlight in Sophie's eyes when she tried to sleep. But when he gave her a new hairdo with shaving cream, it was the last straw, and Sophie made up a game that left Wendell speechless for a time — and won the day for friendship.

Sophie does not enjoy energetic, assertive Wendell's weekend visit until the very end, when she learns to assert herself and finds out Wendell can be fun to play with after all.

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Editorial Reviews

Bulletin
A hilarious read-aloud.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The author of Protecting Marie (see boxed review, p. 73) demonstrates his versatility in this fetchingly illustrated story about a young mouse houseguest and her reluctant mouse host. Ages 4-up. (May)
Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
Wendell visits Sophie's house for the weekend while his parents are out of town. He proceeds to torment Sophie and break all the house rules. Sophie and her parents can't wait until Wendell leaves. Eventually, the two children find common ground, and Sophie is sorry when it is time for her "weekend with Wendell" to conclude. From the author/illustrator of Julius, this is another charming tale starring young mice with quite human personalities and emotions. 1995 (orig.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3 Sophie and her parents count the hours until Wendell's weekend visit is over. Not only does he wreck Sophie's toys and dominate their games, but he also messes up the house and is generally a troublemaker. However, once Sophie manages to turn the table, she decides Wendell may not be so bad after all. Henkes' watercolor illustrations of the four mice are cheerful and amusing. The mice are lively, expressive, and appealing. Children may secretly wish that they could be as daring as Wendell, but they will also rejoice when Sally finally asserts herself. Kathy Piehl, Mankato State University, Minn.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688063269
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/1986
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 9.87 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Henkes

Kevin Henkes is the author and illustrator of close to fifty critically acclaimed and award-winning picture books, beginning readers, and novels. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon in 2005. Kevin Henkes is also the creator of a number of picture books featuring his mouse characters, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Lilly's Big Day and Wemberly Worried, the Caldecott Honor Book Owen, and the beloved Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. His most recent mouse character, Penny, was introduced in Penny and Her Song (2012); her story continued in Penny and Her Doll and Penny and Her Marble (a Geisel Honor Book). Bruce Handy, in a New York Times Book Review piece about A Good Day, wrote, "It should be said: Kevin Henkes is a genius." Kevin Henkes received two Newbery Honors for novels—one for his newest novel for young readers, The Year of Billy Miller, and the other for Olive's Ocean. Also among his fiction for older readers are the novels Junonia, Bird Lake Moon, The Birthday Room, and Sun & Spoon. He lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin.

Kevin Henkes is the author and illustrator of close to fifty critically acclaimed and award-winning picture books, beginning readers, and novels. He received the Caldecott Medal for Kitten's First Full Moon in 2005. Kevin Henkes is also the creator of a number of picture books featuring his mouse characters, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Lilly's Big Day and Wemberly Worried, the Caldecott Honor Book Owen, and the beloved Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. His most recent mouse character, Penny, was introduced in Penny and Her Song (2012); her story continued in Penny and Her Doll and Penny and Her Marble (a Geisel Honor Book). Bruce Handy, in a New York Times Book Review piece about A Good Day, wrote, "It should be said: Kevin Henkes is a genius." Kevin Henkes received two Newbery Honors for novels—one for his newest novel for young readers, The Year of Billy Miller, and the other for Olive's Ocean. Also among his fiction for older readers are the novels Junonia, Bird Lake Moon, The Birthday Room, and Sun & Spoon. He lives with his family in Madison, Wisconsin.

Biography

Kevin Henkes still owns some of his favorite books from childhood. "They're brimming with all the telltale signs of true love: dog-eared pages, fingerprints on my favorite illustrations, my name and address inscribed on both front and back covers in inch-high lettering, and the faint smell of stale peanut butter on the bindings," he says in an interview on his web site.

Back in his peanut-butter sandwich days, Henkes dreamed of becoming an artist. By high school, he had combined his love of drawing with a newfound interest in writing, and at age 19, he took his portfolio to New York City in hopes of finding a publisher. Young Henkes returned home from his weeklong trip with a contract from Greenwillow Books, and he's worked as a children's writer and illustrator ever since.

Henkes's style has evolved over the years to include more humor, more whimsy and a lot more mice. Though he began illustrating his picture books with realistic drawings of children, he's since developed a recurring cast of mouse characters rendered in a more cartoon-like style -- though with a range of expressions that make the spirited Lilly, anxious Wemberly, fearless Sheila Rae and sensitive Chrysanthemum into highly believable heroines. Owen, the story of a little mouse who isn't ready to give up his tattered security blanket, won a Caldecott Honor Medal for its winsome watercolor-and-ink illustrations.

Many of Henkes's mouse books deal with such common childhood ordeals as starting school, being teased and getting lost. Chrysanthemum, about a mouse whose new schoolmates tease her about her name, was inspired by Henkes's own feelings when he started school. "The book is about family, and how starting something new and going out into the world can be very hard," he told an interviewer for The Five Owls. "I remember going to kindergarten -- my grandfather had a beautiful rose garden, and he gave me the last roses of the season to bring to the kindergarten teacher the next day. I don't even remember how it happened, but an older kid took these flowers from me on the playground, and I remember coming home, feeling awful." As a grown-up, Henkes is able to translate difficult childhood transitions into stories that are both honest and reassuring. In a review of Chrysanthemum, Kirkus Reviews noted: "Henkes's language and humor are impeccably fresh, his cozy illustrations sensitive and funny, his little asides to adults an unobtrusive delight."

Henkes has also written novels for older children, in which he "explores family relationships with breathtaking tenderness" (Publisher's Weekly). In The Birthday Room, for example, a twelve-year-old boy learns the reason for his mother's long estrangement from her brother, and helps effect a reconciliation. "Refreshingly, Henkes has given us a male protagonist who is reflective, creative and emotionally sensitive," wrote Karen Leggett in The New York Times Book Review. "Ben feels the anguish of his mother's long-simmering bitterness and his uncle's agonizing guilt. Yet at a time when it is almost a fad to blame dysfunctional families for problems, we learn that even though there are never simple answers and not many fairy-tale endings, families can heal."

Though his novels are more complex and serious than his picture books, all Henkes's works suggest an author with deep empathy for the intense emotions of childhood. As a Publisher's Weekly reviewer wrote, "Behind each book is a wide-open heart, one readers can't help but respond to, that makes all of Henkes's books of special value to children."

Good To Know

Henkes's wife, Laura Dronzek, is also an artist. She painted the cover illustration for Henkes' novel Sun and Spoon and illustrated his picture book Oh!.

Henkes has turned down requests to use his mouse characters in a television series, but some of his books are available in video form in Chrysanthemum and More Kevin Henkes Stories. The video's narrators include Meryl Streep, Sarah Jessica Parker and Mary Beth Hurt.

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse has been adapted into a stage play.

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    1. Hometown:
      Madison, Wisconsin
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 27, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Racine, Wisconsin
    1. Education:
      University of Wisconsin, Madison
    2. Website:

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 5, 2013

    Sophie does not enjoy energetic assertive Wendell's weekend visi

    Sophie does not enjoy energetic assertive Wendell's weekend visit until the very end, when she learns to assert herself and finds out Wendell can be fun to play with after all.




    Very cute. Sophie and Wendell mice. The pictures are very nice detailed colored pen drawings. Excellent book for the shyer student who might feel that the more boisterous students pass them by. It could be used to start a class discussion about ways to play/work with others, especially if you have students who take control and run over others. Fun enjoyable book to read to first grade or for second graders to read. All the Kevin Henkes books are loved at my school.

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    Posted March 11, 2010

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    Posted May 17, 2013

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