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The Wonder Book
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The Wonder Book

3.2 5
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Paul Schmid (Illustrator)

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Hello, You!

So . . . this book is full of stuff I've always wondered about . . .


  • Did Miss Mary Mack have friends who liked other colors?
  • Could everything important about the world be summarized in a poem that rhymes?
  • How do Moms always know when you're about to sneak a cookie?
  • Who hid something under the Tooth


Hello, You!

So . . . this book is full of stuff I've always wondered about . . .


  • Did Miss Mary Mack have friends who liked other colors?
  • Could everything important about the world be summarized in a poem that rhymes?
  • How do Moms always know when you're about to sneak a cookie?
  • Who hid something under the Tooth Fairy's pillow when she was a little girl?

Inside you will find stories, short poems, lists, palindromes, visual treats, and random observations. Some parts are happy, some sad-ish, some silly, some serious, some crunchy, some with a soft center.

You can open the book up anywhere and read. So the beginning could be the end, and the end could be the beginning. But I guess the middle is always the middle. . . .

P.S. aren't Paul's drawings the best?!

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - JoAn Watson Martin
The author has filled a book with the things everyone wonders about but adults become too inhibited to ask. Pancake College begs to be read out loud in a bubbling, wonder-filled voice. Wouldn't any kid want a dad who has attended Pancake College and can amazing the family with short-stack knowledge and skill? She does wonders with double meaning words, puns, take-offs on well-known nursery rhymes—"Mary had a little lamp," "This little piggy (the French little piggy) went Oui, Oui, Oui all the way home." "I wonder why they call it getting dressed when she is wearing pants?" "Whoever thought of using the periodic chemical table for table manners?" "You can't run with a lollipop in your mouth, your shoes tied together or twin porcupines, but you can run with a purple sock or a bag of marshmallows." Prince Backwards begins with The End. He wore his crown backwards, dessert first, and ended with "Once upon a time." As a fourth generation artist, Paul Schmidt has worked magic with black line drawings on white. Lines of children's pictures to signify palindromes: a word or phrase that reads the same forward and backward: Mom Dad Kayak. With an index of words the reader can find any favorite part in a jiffy. We celebrate a half birthday and are reminded that we are halfway through the book. The reader can begin reading anywhere. The beginning can be the end and the end can be the beginning, but the middle is always in the middle. Reviewer: JoAn Watson Martin
Publishers Weekly
This waggish collection combines poems, wordplay, and black ink illustrations to Silversteinian effect. Familiar nursery rhymes are comically recast (“This little piggy played the stock market”), puns run rampant, a poem about a “backwards prince” is meant to be read backwards itself, and there are some winning palindromes (“Was it Eliot’s toilet I saw?”). An occasional gag falls flat (“I wonder why people don’t replace them when they take showers?”), but the sheer diversity of silliness ensures that there is something (funny) for everyone. Ages 5–10. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
An uneven collection of poems and witticisms, the very best of which evoke Shel Silverstein. Several poems are takes on old standbys, such as "It Could Be Verse": "Eeny Meeny and Miney Moe / Caught a tiger with their tow / The tiger hollered; they wouldn't let go / No more Eeny Meeny or Miney Moe." Others are short and super silly: "Tinkle / Tinkle / In the sea / Don't look under / While I pee..." Some of the most successful pieces are those in which Schmid's black-and-white drawings are integral to the poem's meaning. In the palindromes section, for example, "Won ton? Not now," is illustrated with a picture of a little girl offering a won ton to a boy who is hanging upside down while being squeezed by a large snake. Even when they are not absolutely necessary to the meaning of the poems, the illustrations, dynamic and expressive, lend a degree of charm and whimsy to a serviceable, often funny, collection. (Poetry. 8-12)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Here is a joyous, totally original potpourri of stories, poems, lists, palindromes, visual jokes, and random observations about the universal delights and conundrums of childhood. Set squarely in the world of the 21st-century child, with references to tae kwon do, 50 TV channels, and chocolate-chip pancakes, these varied musings nonetheless speak to everyone's inner child, young or old, mentioning table manners, dinosaurs, bratty children, whining, the tooth fairy, and moms and dads who can't relate. Simple, evocative, and childlike black-and-white line drawings, in concert with judicious and varied use of white space, perfectly capture the happy/sad/serious/silly moods of the selections. A book that can be opened on any page, it includes a handy, tongue-in-cheek index of key words and images to guide readers to subjects of interest. Make room on the poetry shelf between Prelutsky and Silverstein: fans of such well-loved titles as The New Kid on the Block (1984) and A Light in the Attic (1981, both HarperCollins) will flock to this winning volume of sheer fun.—Kathleen Finn, St. Francis Xavier School, Winooski, VT

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.52(d)
Age Range:
5 - 10 Years


Meet the Author

Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a New York Times bestselling author of books for children and grown-ups. Her children's books include Plant a Kiss (illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds); Little Pea and This Plus That (Jen Corace); Cookies: Bit-Size Life Lessons (Jane Dyer); Duck! Rabbit!, The OK Book, Yes Day!, and Exclamation Mark (Tom Lichtenheld); Spoon and Chopsticks (Scott Magoon); The Wonder Book (Paul Schmid); Uni the Unicorn (Brigette Barrager); and Awake Beautiful Child (Gracia Lam). Her work for grown-ups includes the memoir Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life and the film project The Beckoning of Lovely. Amy lives online at www.whoisamy.com and for real in Chicago.

Paul Schmid's father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all artists. He is the author and illustrator of A Pet for Petunia, Petunia Goes Wild, and Hugs From Pearl and the illustrator of The Wonder Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. In 2010, Paul was awarded a monthlong fellowship with Maurice Sendak. He lives in Seattle with his wife, Linda, and their daughter, Anna.

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Wonder Book 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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reesspace More than 1 year ago
When I first flipped through the book, I was excited to read it to my kids. I wanted to read from cover to cover but found myself skimming which as I look know is exactly what Amy writes in the front of the cover jacket. "You can open the book up anywhere and read." In A Nutshell: I think this is a brilliant book and really fun to read out loud. There are so many parts of the book I want to talk about like; Word Play (In Four Acts) "The Bicycle couldn't stand alone (it was two tired)". Bwaahah. And Stop That! Be Quiet! Please Sit Still!! About a little boy who is constantly being told to "Stop that, yada, yada, until the end when he and his father pass an old man rocking on his swing. Dad says, "Shhh, the man is resting." The man says, "Oh don't stop! Be louder! I am so glad that you are here! What a lovely spirit you have! And it brings me such cheer! Or Tinkle Tinkle In the Sea Don't look under While I pee..... The book is really cute! I expect it to be a classic loved by kids as well as adults. For this mom, what makes a great children's book, is one that I don't hate reading over and over. The Wonder Book makes the grade. What honey? You want me to read it again? Ok!