Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Where's Wallace

Where's Wallace
Hillary Knight ~ Harper & Row, 1964


Seriously, I might be this man's biggest fan. Eloise was one of my favorite books as a child, and it was only when I began collecting books for my son that I came to know some of his other titles. All total eye candy. I found this one in a junk shop for 49 cents, and a few days later, a reader mentioned it. A far more imaginative and brilliant precursor to the popular Where's Waldo series, the panoramic spreads are marvels, and they invite the reader to find a rascal of an orangutan hidden within their details. I LOVE this one of a natural history museum. It knocks the socks off my son as well. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

These scans don't do justice to the illustrations, so be sure and click to enlarge to get a better view of the awesomeness. Knight's sense of style and space and typography and costume really deserves heaps of praise. I still get a huge thrill whenever I find his drawings in a Vanity Fair. The only way to describe them is that they are complete. Totally full of life and looking. A real wonder. If I could wish to draw like anyone it would be him. Anyways, before I wax so poetic that somebody slips and breaks their neck, on with the story...

Wallace is a monkey. A monkey in a zoo who is loved by everyone and who happens to be a lover of life and a roamer. His kindhearted zookeeper makes a habit of turning the other cheek to allow Wallace his adventures, and the rushing off (eventually) to find him is all part of the fun.

One late afternoon when the crowds had gone and Wallace was alone, he heard a plane overhead and looked up. His keeper saw it too and knew he would have a busy evening ahead of him.

Great story with lots of action and funny and silly business, and my son, for one, could spend hours flipping through these pages trying to find Wallace on the beach or at the department store or at the circus. There are reasonably priced copies all over the Web so do yourself a favor and get one. I promise it will be in high rotation for years to come.

Also by:
The Circus is Coming
Eloise
Sunday Morning

6 comments:

pavinee said...

Ooh! I love Hilary Knight!
I have three books of Eloise original series. Too bad I couldn't find the Moscow one, must have lost when I moved...

This looks different from Eloise but it looks great still!

Thanks!

anne said...

I loved this book when I was a kid. I think I took it out of our school library more than any other book. Before I bought a copy for my son, I had remembered this book as one without words ... I guess I had just fixated on the pictures and ignored the story! Much as my own child does today. This one is definitely a must-have.

Kimberly said...

This book looks wonderful. I found a copy on the internet to buy immediately after reading your post. Thanks for the suggestion!

Scribbler said...

it really is something... though my husband was reading "the circus is coming" last night and he mentioned how all the men looked like Village People. Oh, Hillary. You Rascal........

Chandra said...

I've only recently been initiated into Eloise club! I didn't read her growing up, but just introduced her to my daughter - too much fun! I hadn't done much research about Knight and wasn't really aware that he'd done much else beyond Eloise.

This book in particular looks right up my alley. Just glancing at the illustrations it reminds me a bit of the work of Barbara McClintock - one of my favorite contemporary illustrators. If you haven't read/seen any of her stuff I highly recommend it. I know you mention that you have a son and some of her stuff is a bit feminine, but I just still can't recommend anything by her enough! Our favorites are Adel and Simon, Dahlia, The Fantastic Drawings of Danielle, and Molly and The Magic Wishbone (and much, much more!)

Lauren said...

I just reviewed this on my blog as one of our family's favourite books! It's a keeper, isn't it?

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