Additional Book Information
Series: The New York Review Children's Collection
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Hey Willy, See the Pyramids
by Maira Kalman
Nighttime is the best time for stories. And Lulu is the best storyteller. She knows about the three cross-eyed dogs at a fancy restaurant, about blue and green mountains where fish fly, about the family party where Maishel Shmelkin forgot to wear his pants and of course about the noodle woman with the pointy red nose.
The stories, told by a sister to her little brother, are short and sweet and make you remember things and forget things.
In this book Max the Dog makes his first appearance.
Maira Kalman paints a wondrous and humor-filled world in a childs-eye view. It is full of wild invention, people familar and outlandish, bittersweet moments and flights of fancy.
Click to enlarge image
This book has genuine warmth. A party for endearing oddballs takes place in
the sunshine. Attending are many relatives, many twins, many animals, and so
many sweet mutants you may feel off balance but you won’t feel bored.
—Parents’ Choice Gold Award, from the Parents’ Choice Foundation
This one is far, far out, but has a heart of gold.... The illustrations are child-like, imaginative, and surreal; their swell, bright colors contrast with the white text on black pages where the kids talk and finally ‘both sink in / and see flying chairs / and green hats / and pink things / and sink some and / slowly sink / into sleep.’ Outlandish, but born of genuine creativity and understanding. Try it.
Kalman’s unique illustrations are drawn from the far reaches of the imagination. The bizarre and the commonplace are mixed brilliantly, theatrically punctuated by black pages with the dialogue of the sleepy siblings shown in white type. Although this will not suit everyone, the stream-of-consciousness style is one that many will embrace uncritically, assisted by the colorful images and humorous figures that are scattered throughout.
A young boy pleads with his older sister for some bedtime stories, and Lulu obliges with some brief, highly imaginative tales that are matched to perfection with Kalman’s friendly illustrations, electric and eccentric. Childlike but with a cutting, surreal edge, these pictures are wildly funny. This is a free-spirited book that will engage children on many levels.
—School Library Journal
Maira Kalman’s marvelously inventive gifts really shine in the picture-book format. I’ve long felt that her artwork, with its playful use of color and perspective, provides kids with a fantastic organic introduction to the manifold varieties of art. When my son Max was little, we spent many happy hours together enjoying Stay Up Late; Hey Willy, See the Pyramids; Chicken Soup, Boots; What Pete Ate; and more.
—Lisa Pliscou, author of Dude
Overall, Hey Willy, See the Pyramids is a truly wonderful and creative book about dreams and stories that children will love for years! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up.
—Rabbit Ears (blog)