Posts tagged adventure

Will Goes to the Post Office by Olof and Lena Landström: A charmingly simple picture book.

Will Goes to the Post Office

Will Goes to the Post Office

Picture Book

Ages 2-5

By Olof and Lena Landstrom

28 pages

R&S Books

1994

Out of Print

 

 

In addition to several other picture books, this husband and wife team created four books featuring Will: Will Gets a Haircut, Will Goes to the Beach, Will Goes to the Post Office and Will’s New Cap. Though the plot is neatly summed up by their titles, each of these simple picture books is marvelously satisfying. The straightforward action is conveyed via short, simple sentences and the colorful, uncluttered art is cheerful and sweet.

“Will is going to the post office to pick up a package. It is from Uncle Ben.”

On his way out of his building, Will sees his friends Karen and Peter playing on the stoop. He shows them the card from the post office; Karen and Peter join Will on the adventure.

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Soon they arrive at the post office. Luckily, the line is short and Will’s turn comes fast. He hands his card to the postal worker and looks around, wondering which package is his. Peter hopes it’s something big.

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The woman returns with a very large box for Will. The package isn’t heavy but it’s hard for Will to see where he’s going with such a large box. Karen and Peter are very helpful navigators.

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Mama is surprised to see Will arrive with such a large parcel.

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She gets the scissors to help get it open. Though at first it seems like there’s nothing but paper in the box, Will quickly discovers a globe inside—a globe with a light!

Mama plugs in the globe. She, Will and all the friends gather in the closet—where it’s dark—to see Will’s wonderful new present in all its luminous glory.

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This delightful picture book’s pleasing story and utterly adorable art are sure to be a favorite with toddlers and adults alike.

 

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Backseat Buckaroo is a singular picture book that offers humor and adventure on every page.

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Backseat Buckaroo

Picture Book

Ages 3-8

By Edward Valfre

48 pages

Thomasson-Grant

1995

Out of print

 

 

There are very few examples of children’s books that use photographs instead of illustrations; there are even fewer that are appealing and fun to read. The Red Balloon is the most well known example and perhaps the one which all others are judged against. For me, the gold standard is Backseat Buckaroo.

Edward Valfre is a photographer by trade. He’s published one other book, a companion to Backseat Buckaroo, titled Vacationers from Outer Space (1997).

With Valfre’s text, his black and white photographs take on a mystical quality. The story is told in the style of private eye monologue and is peppered with cowboy terms. The deadpan humor perfectly complements the curious scenes.

“The backseat of a car is no place for a buckaroo who’s ready for adventure.”

Though our young narrator is unhappy about his position, it’s only a matter of time before things get interesting. The family is a million miles from home when things begin to get strange.

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An Indian guide warns the family of trouble ahead and they are able to avoid a face-off with some sneaky desperados. But that’s just the beginning of a string of sudden encounters with unusual characters.

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An elephant and a horse are escaping from a roadside carnival; they’re headed to Mexico to sing in a cabaret. They invite the buckaroo to join them but he declines. He can’t sing and he only knows one word of Spanish.

A white rabbit on his way to another story alerts the buckaroo to a princess in need of rescue. Ferocious dinosaurs stand between him and the distressed damsel. Luckily, the dinosaurs are easily bribed with huge amounts of ice-cream and the princess is saved.

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The family pushes on and our narrator takes a shot at meeting a genie; passing a magic lamp at 60 miles per hour the boy yells out, “I’ve got a jelly sandwich for anyone granting wishes.” The genie makes his appearance at a gas station down the road and grants Master Buckaroo three wishes.

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The boy believes one of his wishes (to sleep in a teepee) is about to come true when the family stops for a snack. He’s given a quarter to spend as he wishes; he visits a fortune teller.

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Backseat Buckaroo is a singular picture book that offers humor and adventure on every page.

 

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