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Twenty Years of Weslandia! Celebrate the 20th Anniversary!

In the last two decades, Weslandia’s universal message has garnered international
appeal, with editions published in a wide range of languages, including Simplified
and Complex Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Danish, and Castilian.

An American Library Association H “This fantastical picture book, like its hero, is
Notable Children’s Book bursting at the seams with creativity.”
A Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Winner — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A Parents Best Book of the Year H “From the personal hieroglyphs on the endpapers Enter the witty, intriguing world of
to the lacrosse-like game played on pogo sticks, Weslandia! Now that school is over,
A Publishers Weekly
ideas present themselves, ready to pollinate fertile Wesley needs a summer project. He’s
Best Children’s Book of the Year
young imaginations. While this book offers a highly learned that each civilization needs a
inventive approach to any number of topics — bullies, staple food crop, so he decides to sow a
anthropology, individuality, gardening, summer
garden and start his own — civilization,
vacation — don’t wait for a reason to share it.”
that is. He turns over a plot of earth,
— School Library Journal (starred review)
and plants begin to grow. They soon
H “Playful wit and cleverness mark the text as tower above him and bear a curious-
practical, farsighted Wesley wins over his detractors looking fruit. As Wesley experiments, he
and validates himself. A lot of the charm is in the large, finds that the plant will provide food,
richly colored, double-spread artwork. Children will clothing, shelter, and even recreation.
want to spend plenty of time with it.”
It isn’t long before his neighbors and
— Booklist (starred review)
classmates develop more than an idle
H “Combining the allure of fantasy and science fiction curiosity about Wesley  — and exactly
with the dismissal of socially acceptable norms creates how he is spending his summer vacation.
a true paradise for today’s preteen. . . . The story works
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
for younger children, who will be drawn to the art and HC: 978-0-7636-0006-8 • $16.99 ($20.00 CAN)
Paul Fleischman won the Newbery Medal for Joyful PB: 978-0-7636-1052-4 • $7.99 ($10.99 CAN)
appreciate Wesley’s inventiveness, indomitable spirit,
Noise: Poems for Two Voices and a Newbery Honor for Ages 4–8 • 40 pages
and ultimate triumph.” Graven Images. He is the author of numerous picture
— The Horn Book (starred review) books, including The Animal Hedge and The Matchbox
Diary, both illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, and The
“Hawkes has vividly imagined Fleischman’s puckish Dunderheads and The Dunderheads Behind Bars, both
text, capturing both the blandness of Wesley’s suburban illustrated by David Roberts, as well as young adult
surroundings and then the fabulous encroachment of fiction, poetry, plays, and nonfiction. Paul Fleischman
lives in Santa Cruz, California.
the rainforest-like vegetation of his green and growing
place. Children will be swept up in Wesley’s vision, and ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR
have a fine time visiting Weslandia.” Kevin Hawkes is the illustrator of many books for
— Kirkus Reviews children, including the award-winning Library Lion
by Michelle Knudsen; There’s a Dinosaur on the 13th
Floor by Wade Bradford; Handel, Who Knew What He
Liked by M. T. Anderson; A Little Bitty Man and Other
Poems for the Very Young by Marilyn Nelson, Pamela
Espeland, and Halfdan Rasmussen; and The Three
Mouths of Little Tom Drum by Nancy Willard. Kevin
Hawkes lives with his family in southern Maine.
Illustrations copyright © 1999 by Kevin Hawkes
W eslandia introduces a misfit named Wesley
who develops his own civilization, an alternate
world in his backyard. For anyone who has
ever felt left out and friendless, this wonderfully
inventive picture book promises relief in a
celebration of the triumph of imagination
and initiative over that most humble of evils,
conformity.
Newbery Award winner Paul Fleischman
says that the story of Weslandia germinated for
fifteen years. “In notebook after notebook, I
played with the idea of a farmer who plows the
earth but lets the wind seed his crop — as Wesley
does — thrilled to ‘open his land to chance, to
invite the new and unknown.’” He believes

and inventor’s heaven . . . with everything from Luckily, both Paul Fleischman and Kevin
bowling-ball wax to World War I gas masks.” Hawkes share with Wesley the gift and passion
homeschooling his two sons also inspired him: “It Hawkes hopes Weslandia will encourage young for creating alternate worlds — stories, novels,
added elements of nonconformity and discovery people to be resourceful, roam outdoors, invent poems, and illustrations bearing bright and
to the story.” In many ways, his own education games, and connect with nature. curious fruit. Weslandia is a world that kids, in
took place at home. “We had a printing press, While the illustrator empathized with his their infinite wisdom, will eagerly inhabit — and
a telescope. We printed our own books, and my child subject, it’s the author who best identifies that no reader will soon forget.
father [writer Sid Fleischman] read his works-in- with Wesley’s status as an outsider. But Fleischman
progress aloud.” says he drew more from the present than from his
“The lure of Weslandia for kids is this youthful past: his childhood was nothing like his
notion of a hidden world,” says Fleischman. “It’s character’s. His childhood neighborhood of Santa
a variation on the tree house, a complex culture Monica little resembles Wesley’s rigid suburban
apart from the mainstream.” world with its two styles of housing (“garage
Illustrator Kevin Hawkes says the text of on the left and garage on the right”), and while
Weslandia spoke to him “immediately, on every Fleischman and friends did invent games like
level,” and he affectionately likens Wesley to “skrugby” (football played with the banana-
“Robinson Crusoe on his island.” shaped fruit of a local plant) and produced an
“I grew up in a military family,” Hawkes underground newspaper, he was no outcast.
says, “and we moved all the time. I was always Unlike Wesley, Fleischman was popular because
the new kid, always a bit apart. On one base he was smart — and funny. “All said, I wasn’t
in Virginia, I took great satisfaction in roaming even necessarily the sort of kid who would come
the nearby woods. I spent hours alone, hiking, to Wesley’s defense, which is enormously difficult
exploring, constructing forts and towers, tracking to do at that age. But as an adult, you admire
animals. At home, my dad’s garage was a builder such people.”