Savage, Stephen. 2011. WHERE’S WALRUS? New York: Scholastic. ISBN 9780439700498 [Suggested Grade Levels PreK-2]
This wordless picture book follows the zany antics of Walrus and his zookeeper after Walrus escapes from the zoo. The humor lies in the various hats Walrus wears to disguise himself to blend in with people around the city. As a result, the hapless zookeeper fails to spot him. Only when Walrus hits the high diving board does the zookeeper catch up. When the final hat comes off Walrus, the zookeeper discovers a way to keep him home and happy.
Flat, old-fashioned colors dominate spreads punctuated by the blue uniforms of the searching zookeeper. The art is simple and cartoon-like and a few simple brush strokes on faces convey the characters’ emotions. The art on the final page reveals the author’s satisfying plot twist.
Children may have great fun being “in the know” before the zookeeper realizes where Walrus is and spotting Walrus first in each spread. The book invites young children to join in the search and enjoy Walrus’s wild adventure.
Lead a question and answer session after each spread to stimulate vocabulary. Have the children identify the location and occupations of the people Walrus encounters. Include the use of verbs to express what the citizens are doing as Walrus hides among them. Encourage them to predict what is about to happen on each spread.
Other wordless picture books:
Baker, Jeannie. MIRROR. 978-0763648480
Raschka, Chris. A BALL FOR DAISY. 9780375858611
By Shirley Duke