WILLIE OUT WEST
by Rhonda Walker
ages 6 to 10
Young Willie Walrus leaves his ice home to travel on an adventure to Big West, where the town's citizens desperately need help. Arriving to cheers, he quickly runs into Old Walter, the One-Eyed Whale. Colorful illustrations and action take readers to an old West town where the citizens expect Willie to save them. Can he?
Willie Walrus is bored. Nothing exciting ever happens to him. One day, he's asked to come to the Big West and experience an adventure. Willie jumps at the chance and soon, is having the time of his life. Unfortunately, the parade and fun is only the beginning of his adventure. Hopefully, he can come out alive.
Willie is a lovely walrus who doesn't see what he has and wishes to have some fun, which he gets in loads. The colorful illustrations bring this simple yet interesting story to life. The creatures of the sea and ice are easy to identify and radiate friendliness. The story itself is written with a longer text on each page, making it a lovely read for beginning readers or as a read aloud for Kindergartners and older.
The story flows quickly and holds something new around every bend. It wasn't clear why anyone would approach Willie Walrus's house and invite him to come help the sea creatures out, but that's not necessarily important. Willie's fun and excitement during the parade is easy to identify with as is his shock when he faces the real adventure. The solution wasn't quite what we expected, but it works. In any case, the message is clear—becoming a hero can also mean working together, not alone. It's an easy read, kids are sure to sink into and enjoy.
I received a complimentary copy through Booklook Bloggers.