Book Review – Willy’s Stories by Anthony Browne

Willy’s Stories is the brand new picture book from Anthony Browne, the author of Voices in the Park, The Tunnel and The Shape Game. The book follows Willy the chimp and his trips to the library every week where he has amazing adventures. Each double page spread features Willy embroiled in one  of ten classic tales:

  1. Robinson Crusoe
  2. Treasure Island
  3. Robin Hood
  4. The Tinder Box
  5. Peter Pan
  6. Alice in Wonderland
  7. The Wizard of Oz
  8. Rapunzel
  9. The Wind in the Willows
  10. Pinocchio

The illustrations for each story are striking, covering an entire page and feature Willy in peril surrounded by clues to the featured book. For Alice in Wonderland he is falling from high bookshelves full of clues such as a dodo, a key, a crying baby and a grinning cat’s face. Children and adults will enjoy guessing which well-known tale the text and picture relates to. The text on each page quickly launches the reader into Willy’s adventures. He is thrown into the middle of  a forest in one story and it is getting dark. He can hear something coming up behind him, getting louder, chasing him. He needs to find somewhere to hide quick! And then……well the story stops and Willy asks the reader what they think is chasing him. Each story encourages a response from the reader, to use their imagination to continue the exciting story.

The book would work really well to stimulate creative writing activities or as an exciting lead-in to one of the 10 classic tales that are referenced. Or even as a book quiz in itself. It is an excellent book to highlight the pleasure of reading and the potential adventures contained in the books in the library.

Ages 5-11




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