Book Review: Willie Out West

Willie Out West, by Rhonda Walker

[Note:  This book was provided by BookLook/WestBow Press in exchange for an honest review.]

Although extremely short, this was a delightful book to read.  Like some of the books I read and review [1], this book is clearly aimed at early readers or pre-readers.  And, unlike some children’s books I have reviewed [2], this is a book that I could see children wanting to read and asking their parents or babysitters to read for them.  And there is a good reason for that, most notably that the book is an enjoyable and, and if it is a didactic book as is the tradition of a great many children’s books, its lessons come attached with a good story and compelling characters even if there is not much text to the story itself.  And that counts for a lot–this book, although extremely basic and far below my own regular reading level, brought a smile to me when I read it, and I can imagine this being a common response to the book among many readers of all ages.  This is the sort of children’s book that one can imagine deserving some kind of print run, especially given the attractiveness of the pictures that go along with the book.

Without giving too many spoilers away, the contents of this book are rather limited and so a detailed explanation would likely contain more text than the entire book itself.  A somewhat bored young sea creature finds himself given an invitation to be the sheriff of a troubled town and ends up having to prove himself brave.  As a children’s book, it ends up happily and lessons are learned by all.  Indeed, there are at least a few lessons that thoughtful kids could gain from this book, including the fact that offices are not possessed for the ego trips of the officeholders but rather the service that they can do for the people.  In fact, that is a lesson many adults who happen to be leaders [3] could stand to learn.  How many children learn the lesson is one thing, but the fact that the book gives such a great lesson in such a compelling format is something that deserves recognition and appreciation when one can see it.

There is still yet more that could be said.  This particular book is a delightful one, and so much so that is to be hoped that the author has plenty more stories about Willie available, hopefully with the same illustrator.  This is a character that is worthy of a series, perhaps even a franchise, and the sort of story that I can see children not only wanting to read but wanting to read a lot more of.  Hopefully the book is successful enough that the author is encouraged to write many more adventures for Willie, where he becomes a wiser person and less prone to easy boredom and frustration with the confines of his life.  This is the sort of book that one wants more of, and even if the book is simple and playful, it is written with such skill and such a sympathetic set of characters that one wants to see more of them.  It is hard to give any book, even one of such apparently modest ambitions, more well-deserved praise than that.

[1] See, for example:

[2] See, for example:

[3] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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4 Responses to Book Review: Willie Out West

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Bible Trivia, Jokes, And Fun Facts For Kids | Edge Induced Cohesion

  2. Pingback: Thinking Of You | Edge Induced Cohesion

  3. Pingback: Book Review: The Ultimate Official Guide To Club Penguin | Edge Induced Cohesion

  4. Pingback: Book Review: Sequoyah And The Cherokee Alphabet | Edge Induced Cohesion

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