It's another slow day at the zoo—not. The keeper has nodded off, and all are asleep—all, that is, except Walrus. The seemingly content creature carefully assesses the situation from his small, raised pool. In one quick flip, he's off scurrying toward...freedom? A flowing fountain ahead, a shocked zookeeper behind, and loads of fun awaits! So begins the visual hijinks. Walrus, always one step ahead of his mustachioed caretaker, manages to build structures, fight fires and dance the cancan, all before winning an attention-grabbing platform-diving competition. His crowd-pleasing performance leaves the zookeeper thoughtful. Thus, Walrus returns to a refurbished home—complete with diving pool—and to new audiences attracted to the zoo. Minimal linework and simple blocks of color done in a cool, playful palette contribute to a '50s, modern aesthetic. Savage thoughtfully applies his graphic approach to Walrus' industrious exuberance, surrounding him with postwar-boom references. In his world, people are active; they're building and creating, and there's possibility in the air and opportunity for play. The expressive characters also brim with personality and charm. Intelligently illustrated, the book leaves readers to wonder if Walrus' adventures were all mischievous spontaneity, or did he wittingly go astray? Refreshing, captivating, elegant and witty. (Picture book. 3-7)Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Not to be confused with a certain lanky tourist in a striped red shirt, the blubbery namesake of this wordless escapade is on the lam from the zoo. As other animals and a zookeeper nap, the mischievous walrus lunges out the main gate. In the following spreads, readers see a city fountain with a sculpture of a mermaid opposite a familiar gray tusker who mimics her pose; a shop window with twin mannequins beside a curvaceous, gray third; and a row of five firefighters, only four of whom wear rubber coats and boots. In each spread, the mustached zookeeper--wearing a Keystone Kops-style blue uniform and toting a pathetically tiny net--scans the scene for evidence of his quarry. Savage (Polar Bear Night) composes pared-down digital illustrations with high-contrast hues and saturated color, reminiscent of Richard McGuire's art. Younger children will giggle at his visual gags, which depend on repeated shapes next to the walrus, who disrupts each pattern while hiding in plain sight. This silent chase, which ends amenably for both pursuer and escapee, pairs well with Peggy Rathmann's perennial favorite Goodnight, Gorilla. Ages 3-6. (Feb.)[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC
PreS-K--With the zookeeper on his trail, an escaped walrus hides out in the city: in a fountain, a soda counter, a department-store display window, a brick wall under construction, a line of firemen spraying a burning building, and a group of artists painting in the park. His trick is to blend in to each particular scene. However, he can't help but stand out in a diving competition where he wins a gold medal. The walrus then returns to the zoo and entertains the crowds with his dives. The collagelike illustrations in this wordless book were created in Adobe Illustrator. They are large, clear, and simple; the colors are bright, although flat. Young children will take delight in their ability to spot the wandering walrus; older kids might see this book as a humorous Where's Waldo spoof.--Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI[Page 90]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.