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Inspiration comes in a variety of different forms though family is probably best source One author might write a picture book and make all the monsters in it the relatives they knew growing up Another might write a tale based on an amusing catchphrase picked up by her husband In the case of Hopper and Wilson, author Maria van Lieshout found inspiration when her father and brother found home Apparently the two went on a sea voyage once and proceeded to get lost The story has a happy ending since the two came back, wiser and appreciative of the place they left behind, and so Hopper and Wilson finds its footing A quiet tale of safe journeys, returns, and friendship, this is the bedtime book you re looking for when bathtime has come and gone.Hopper the elephant and Wilson the mouse wonder one day what exactly they might find at the end of the world Determining that there s a good chance of finding lemonade there, the two set out in a little boat with only a red balloon for company Along the way they are caught up in a sudden squall and the two friends are separated Wilson searches high and low for Hopper, until at last a friendly bird leads the two to one another Continuing their journey minus one red balloon they find themselves back at their old dock The end of the world is also the beginning And for that the two of them could not be happier.Until now the books both written and illustrated by van Lieshout have consisted of small, specialized little stories Bloom is a tale of two little pigs searching for love while Peep is of the first flight graduation gift variety and Splash about having a down day Compared to these Hopper and Wilson plays out like a veritable epic tale As epic a tale as toys ever have, of course There is, you see, a stitched quality to Hopper and Wilson You can make out the long stitched lines on both of their bodies There s a comfy, cuddly quality to them Hopper in particular seems to have rather relaxed stuffing, probably from a lot of hugging over the years Theirs is a world right out of Winnie the Pooh Of small tragedies, lemon trees, the occasional pet cactus, and the discovery that the end of the world is also the beginning The watercolors in the book definitely drill home that dreamlike quality Van Lieshout has a great deal of fun conjuring up the colors of stormy seas and yellow early morning skies There s one moment at night when Hopper and Wilson stare up at the stars and the red of their balloon is reflected oh so faintly in the deep dark blue waters below And I, for one, would love to know what the writing is on that little folded boat they ride It would not have surprised me to see it change from one bit of newsprint to another over the course of the pages, but instead it s entirely consistent, saying something about rainforests and soggy rain soaked trails I ve always known that kids like to find hidden details in the picture books they read, but it was only recently that someone pointed out to me that adults like to find hidden clues as well This is often because they parent will find themselves reading the same book over and over again If the artist involved includes a tiny detail that s worth finding, it might mean the life or death of that parent s sanity In the case of this book, there s a small bird that accompanies Hopper and Wilson on their quest and ends up being the saving of one of them Folks will enjoy spotting this bird as it loops and dives from page to page And I liked the occasional, perhaps inadvertent, homage There s one image in particular that seems to recall Oliver Jeffers Lost and Found when, like the boy in that book, Wilson circles icecaps in search of his missing friend.Quiet adventures that display the joys of finding something, or someone, you have lost are out there but sometimes they re hard to recall Hopper and Wilson is easy to remember after you ve read it, though I know that the next time a parent walks into my children s room at the library and asks for good picture book bedtime fare or books that feel like classics I ll have this little number right at hand Sweet in the best possible sense, these are two animals that are certain to garner friends in their readers A lovely book.For ages 3 8. As usual, Maria van Lieshout s masterfully minimal and deceptively simple art speaks volumes. Good friends Hopper the elephant and Wilson the mouse realize that there is no place like home Like many of us, though, they have to go away first before appreciating what they have When Hopper dreams of being able to touch the moon, Wilson wishes for limitless lemonade When a fierce ocean storm separates the two on their voyage, Wilson asks everyone he encounters if they ve seen Hopper Once they re reunited, they need precisely what matters The illustrations, created with watercolors, collage, colored pencil, crayon, and acrylics are perfect for this deceptively simple story My favorite illustration is the one with the whale, most of whose body is submerged and barely visible under the sea This is minimalist art at its best. Hopper and Wilson are a nice pair I love that their mismatched dreams Hopper wants to touch the moon and Wilson just wants lots of lemonade, are treated equally A little odd book home is where your cactus is, but nice A charming tale of two animals who dare to visit the end of the world. A sweet and lovely story of friendship, love and adventure. Hopper and Wilson try to imagine what is on the other side of the big sea Wilson, the mouse, thinks there will be lots of lemonade there Hopper, the elephant, imagines a staircase to the moon So they decide to head out in their boat and see what actually is on the other side of the sea They bring their red balloon with them too They sail through the day and night, until they are awoken by rain and wind Soon the waves are huge and dangerous When the sea calms, Wilson is alone in the boat As he sails on alone, he asks animals if they have seen Hopper, but neither the turtles, nor the penguins, nor the whale had seen him Finally, Wilson sees a bird with a familiar red thread and discovers Hopper afloat on the balloon Happily after that they reach the other side of the sea And there they find they are home, what luck that home is at both the end and the beginning of the world.This is a warm and lovely book about friendship and the meaning of home It has a great adventure at its center too Van Lieshout s writing is friendly and welcoming There are small, sweet touches like the two characters saying farewell to their pet cactus before heading out, the reaction when the friends are reunited, and the moment they discover they are back home again This all adds up to a story that has a genuine heart.A large part of the appeal of the book are the illustrations They are done in a mix of watercolors, ink, collage, colored pencil, crayon and acrylics with some technology to pull it all together They have the appealing liquidity of watercolors, the texture of pencil and crayon, and the deep black edges of ink Highly recommended, this book has a radiant appeal Share it with your small adventurer who will also be happy to come back home at the end Appropriate for ages 4 6. &FREE PDF ↡ Hopper and Wilson ☚ A Playful Tale About Friendship And Home What, Hopper Asks His Little Friend Wilson, Do You Think It S Like At The End Of The World Hopper, The Blue Elephant, Imagines A Staircase To The Moon, While Wilson, The Yellow Mouse, Hopes For An Endless Supply Of Lemonade So The Two Sail Off In A Boat Made Of Paper Only To Discover They Already Have Everything They Could Wish For In Each Other, And At Home Maria Van Lieshout S Adorable New Picture Book Tugs At Heartstrings, Inspires Discussion, And Reminds Us All How Good Returning Home Can FeelPraise For HOPPER AND WILSON Van Lieshout S Story Is Filled With Adventure, Emotion, And Imagery That Supplies Lots Of Effervescent Warmth Publisher S Weekly Winsomely Ambiguous And Otherworldly, This Sweet, Quirky Story Offers Fantastic Footholds For Dizzying Discussion Kirkus Reviews Hopper the stuffed elephant and Wilson the stuffed little mouse are great friends In this very appealing illustrated book, Hopper and Wilson wonder what it would be like to go to the end of the world They each try and picture what it would be like They think there would be an endless supply of lemonade and a staircase that would go up to the moon, so they could touch it They decide that they must take a trip across the ocean to go to the end of the world They get aboard their newspaper boat, bring along their red balloon, and say goodbye to their cactus When they are in sea, a giant storm comes which ends up making Hopper go overboard Wilson is terrified to be at sea by himself and he asks whoever he can if they had seen Hopper Hopper is soon found, and they end up making their way back to their home, where they realize their home is better than the end and the beginning of the world I found this story absolutely adorable It is VERY creative and I found myself thinking, how did Maria Van Lieshout think of this A young child would love this story, and I see myself reading this to my early preschoolers, and them absolutely falling in love with it too I think the illustrations are definitely Caldecott worthy This book is about an elephant and mouse that set sail in a newspaper sailor hat boat to see the end of the world Hopper gets lost in a storm and Wilson is afraid he s lost at sea The two become reunited and sail around the world ending up at the same place they started I kept mixing up the names Hopper is the elephant and Wilson is the mouse I always want to reverse them Kids kept laughing at my mix up Kindergarten students made a simple sailor hat before I read the story I set out a one page spread of a newspaper folded in half Students had to make a triangle at the folded edge then fold up the bottom It was easier for the students if we taped the edges down There are always a couple of students who say they can t do it on their own I start the triangle and make them do it on their own Some got help from another student The story itself is cute Here s a link to a website on making sailor hats