Reviews for Where's Walrus?

Booklist Reviews 2011 May #1
While the lion, bear, elephant, and even zookeeper are snoozing away a lazy afternoon at the zoo, a sly walrus makes a break for it. The mustachioed zookeeper takes chase, but the walrus proves a most clever quarry, hiding himself in plain sight by donning different hats and blending in with a new set of figures on each spread: businessmen hunched over a lunch counter, fashionable mannequins posed in a storefront display, firemen lined up holding a hose, and even a chorus line of high-kicking stage divas. Finally, the walrus performs a perfect-10 swan dive and the zookeeper comes up with a nice new attraction to flaunt the animal's irrepressible verve. What really makes this wordless romp pop are Savage's crisply designed, boldly composed scenes, with figures that are essentially cookie-cutter copies of each other, stylized with a distinctly retro line (Mr. Monopoly springs to mind). The walrus' delicately absurd mimicry provides plenty of point-and-giggle moments in this understated but considerably charming bit of irreverence. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall
In this wordless look-and-find book, a walrus heads out the zoo gates. The zookeeper sets off in pursuit, but the walrus hides easily in plain sight over and over again. Savage's stylish digitally created illustrations feature clean shapes, strong lines, and solid blocks of color. The graphically appealing scenes are easy to read, allowing even the youngest viewers to interpret the action. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2011 #2
A sleeping zookeeper, wide-open gates, a clever walrus -- a slow day at the city zoo is about to get a lot more interesting. In this wordless look-and-find book, the walrus escapes from his small pool and heads out the gates; the now-alert zookeeper immediately sets off in pursuit. But everywhere he looks, from the fountain to the diner, from the construction site to the theater, the walrus is nowhere to be found. Or is he? With the right headgear and attitude, the walrus hides easily in plain sight over and over again. Preschoolers will love being one step ahead of the clueless zookeeper, who doesn't notice the fountain's new mermaid statue or the store mannequin with tusks or the stage dancer with flippers and a tail instead of feet. Savage's stylish digitally created illustrations feature clean shapes, strong lines, and solid blocks of color. The graphically appealing scenes are easy to read, allowing even the youngest viewers an opportunity to interpret the action. The silly search comes to an end at a diving competition, and when the gold-medal winner's swim cap comes off, the poor zookeeper finally gets a clue...and an idea for how to keep the walrus happy and boost zoo attendance. The satisfyingly circular ending gives Where's Walrus? a flipper up on that guy in the striped shirt. kitty Flynn Copyright 2011 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 January #2

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.

Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

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.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 February

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

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