Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Willy The Dreamer

Willy The Dreamer

1998 Picture Books
Ages: 3 - 8 yrs.
Author: Anthony Browne
Publisher: Candlewick Press
ISBN: 0-7636-0378
Hardcover Price: $16.99
Browne, the prize-winning and gifted English illustrator, might well be dubbed the Rene Magritte of children’s books. His chimp hero Willy, the protagonist of four previous Browne works, here embarks on a surreal pictorial adventure by falling asleep in an overstuffed armchair. In rapid succession, he dreams that he is Tarzan, a rock musician, a scuba diver, an explorer, and a painter. He shrinks to near invisibility and expands to awesome giant-size. The illustrations are gripping, the text little more than serviceable captions. Adult page-turners may well be diverted by the artist’s homages to such painters as Matisse, Rousseau, DeChirico, Dali, and others, but children will simply enjoy Willy’s magical transformations. For a fanciful child who likes examining visual details, the journey will be richly rewarding, but the work will not be to every child’s – or adult’s – taste.
Selma G. Lanes   ©1998 Parents' Choice

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