else is there to do during summer vacation but create a new
civilization? Wesley, who's always been a bit of an outsider, does just
that -- he grows a staple crop, invents a language, makes his own
clothes, and develops a culture, all in his own back yard.
"This fantastical picture book, like its hero, is bursting at the seams with creativity. . . . a vigorous shot in the arm to nonconformists everywhere" — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review)
Enter the witty, intriguing world of Weslandia! Now that school is over, Wesley needs a summer project. He’s learned that each civilization needs a staple food crop, so he decides to sow a garden and start his own - civilization, that is. He turns over a plot of earth, and plants begin to grow. They soon tower above him and bear a curious-looking fruit. As Wesley experiments, he finds that the plant will provide food, clothing, shelter, and even recreation. It isn’t long before his neighbors and classmates develop more than an idle curiosity about Wesley - and exactly how he is spending his summer vacation.
About the Author
Paul Fleischman, like Wesley, constructed his own alternate world during his school years. "My friends and I invented our own sports, ran an underground newsppaer, and created our own school culture," he says.
Kevin Hawkes says that Wesley's world reminded him of ROBINSON CRUSOE, one of his favorite books as a child. "Wesley lives in this place where everything is the same," he explains, "yet he has created something unique and is living self-sufficiently, on his own island, in a way."
Wesley is a nonconformist suffering rejection from classmates . . . until he puts his school lessons to use and founds his own civilization—Weslandia . . . Combining the allure of fantasy and science fiction with the dismissal of socially acceptable norms creates a true paradise for today's pre-teen and terrific fodder for social studies classes. At another level, the story works for younger children, who will be drawn to the art and appreciate Wesley's inventiveness, idominitable spirit, and ultimate triumph. —The Horn Book (starred review)
This fantastical picture book, like its hero, is bursting at the seams with creativity . . . a vigorous shot in the arm to nonconformists everywhere . . . It's difficult to imagine a better pairing than Fleischman and Hawkes to bring this one of a kind kid—and his universe—so vividly to life. —Publishers Weekly (starred review)