Thursday, October 1, 2015

[BOOK REVIEW] Hey Willy, See the Pyramids by Maira Kalman





Title:  Hey Willy, See the Pyramids

Author:  Maira Kalman

Genre:  Animals / Collection / Surrealism / Bedtime Stories

Year Published: 1988

Year Read:  2015

Publisher: Viking Kestrel

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+ (Some Bizarre Imagery)




Now, I will admit that I have never read any book from Maira Kalman before and this book, “Hey Willy, See the Pyramids” is the first book I had read from Maira Kalman.  But now that I had read this book, I think that I will check out more of Maira Kalman’s works in the near future!


The book starts off with a young boy asking his sister Lulu to tell him some stories and even though Lulu did not want to tell stories at first, she begins telling eleven stories that are full of humor, surrealism and heartwarming moments that will surely put the boy to sleep:

1.      Big Story
2.      Green Hat
3.      Tiny Story
4.      Fish Story
5.      The Story of the Party
6.      Chicken Story
7.      Eddy and Buddy
8.      Tiptoe Story
9.      The Poem of Max
10.  Green Face
11.  A Boy Had a Dream



Now, I have read many children’s books that are full of bizarre imagery and dreamlike narratives, but I have never read a children’s bedtime story quite like this before!  Maira Kalman’s narrative is extremely bizarre and dreamlike as the characters are thrown into weird situations that you would normally never see play out in the real world, like in “Tiny Story” where there were tiny people as small as mice walking across the streets.  I also loved the way that Maira Kalman had Lulu and her brother’s narrative being put in black pages with only white text being printed on them as it helps the reader distinguish between Lulu’s conversation with her brother and the dreamlike situations of the stories.  Probably my most favorite stories in this book were “Tiny Story,” “The Story of the Party,” “Eddy and Buddy” and “Tiptoe Story” since those stories had the most original and bizarre artwork I had ever seen!  Maira Kalman’s artwork is extremely reminiscent of Henrik Drescher’s artwork as there are bizarre creatures abound each page such as half bird and half human hybrid creatures and characters who have different skin tones such as some people being colored green instead of regular human colors which brings out the creativity of this story.


Parents should know that there is much bizarre imagery in this book that might scare some children and that they should read this book first before reading it to their child to see if they could handle the bizarre imagery.



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 since the narrative might be a bit too confusing for some children.





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