Reviews for Chester's Way


Publishers Weekly Reviews 1988 July #2
Chester's ways are fairly circumscribed: this young mouse has definite likes and dislikes, and there is no changing his mind. His friend Wilson is just like him; they're quite a pair. Then Lilly moves into the neighborhood. She speaks backwards (``YLLIL MA I''), travels only in disguise and carries a water pistol wherever she goes, ``just in case.'' She intimidates Chester and Wilson, until she terrorizes some bullies who are picking on the two friends. Suddenly, Lilly's ways don't look so bad, and the threesome becomes just as like-minded and inseparable as Chester and Wilson's former twosome. Henkes's vision of friendship captures the essence of the childlike; his mice live in a sunny, imaginative world mixed with secure routines and the safety of known factors. The story unwinds at a deliberate pace; every sentence is either downright funny or dense with playful, deadpan humor. The artist/author, as always, gently grants room for differences between people (the turnaround in A Weekend with Wendell , for example, and the reconciliation between Wedge and his stepfather in Two Under Par ). Behind each book is a wide-open heart, one readers can't help but respond to, that makes all of Henkes's booksand especially this oneof special value to children. Ages 4-up. (August) Copyright 1988 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 1988 September
K-Gr 2 Chester is a child of rigid habits. From the way he ties his shoes to what he has for breakfast, he knows exactly how things ought to be done and tolerates no deviations. His friend, Wilson, shares his attitudes and his set routines, and the two are completely satisfied with the way they have arranged their lives. Although Chester's father is mildly disparaging of their obsessive actions, nothing happens to disturb them until Lilly moves into the neighborhood. Lilly is a whirlwind of wacky behavior. While Chester and Wilson cut their sandwiches into neat diagonals, Lilly uses a cookie cutter to make stars and flowers out of hers. Gradually, the two little stuffed shirts and free-swinging Lilly learn to accept each other and reshape all their prejudices to fit a trio, but an amusing surprise is waiting for them, and for the readers, on the last page. Henkes' charming cartoons are drawn with pen-and-ink, washed over with cheerful watercolors. They give witty expressions to his characters. The children's eyes, for instance, are drawn only with dots and tiny lines, but are nevertheless laden with meaning. Children will make Chester's Way their own. Ruth Semrau, Lovejoy School, McKinney, Tex. Copyright 1988 Cahners Business Information.

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