Flo And Wendall Explore
By William Wendell
Christmas is full of time honored traditions and always tucked into the mix are some family adventures; going to pick out the perfect tree, a trip to see Santa or, if you live near New York or even visit this time of year, a peek at the WINDOWS! If you haven’t seen this year’s display of holiday windows and can get to New York City, you and the kids are in for an adventure. Tons of kids AND parents can be seen pressing cold noses up to glass windows of dazzlingly themed department store fronts. I have included a link below to an article on just some of them, but they include Lord and Taylor, Barney’s, Bergdorf Goodman, and Macy’s.
But Lord and Taylor’s are sure to please with windows that are filled with whimsey. It’s theme is an enchanted mansion complete with “The Hall of Wisdom” wherein an army of mice see to the books in the library! In the “Fairy Tale Garden,” Tinker Bells and a host of butterflies spread their wings under bell jars and red cardinals that have donned scarves and caps against the cold, take flight over tiny houses.
Something called “The Heritage Gallery” has portraits done in the style of the Old Masters of dogs and cats and a stray giraffe!
There is a video running that shows LIVE dogs and cats that are pretty sweet and some of the hounds, if a recent article I read on the exhibit is correct, could pass for the famous weimaraners of William Wegman!
Perfect segue to a a whimsical picture book on those delightfully serious weimaraners called “Flo and Wendell” by none other THAN William Wegman.
These doggie siblings are a study in contrasts as are many a sibling, no matter their species! Flo is, well a bit assertive and self directed, and other directed too, as in directing WENDELL. He’s a fairly laid back easy going type where Flo is a bit of an A type personality. And when they go on a family vacation and try the art of camping, adventure ensues. Off they go on a RV called “Windingo” that belongs to their Uncle Mervin.
Flo has a great time during the trip, while Wendell gripes that HIS idea of a grand time is not merely driving around. Translation: He wants a chance to use his souvenir hatchet. Flo is a fixer and promises Wendell an ADVENTURE at their OWN campsite.
What follows is a good story of cooperation between siblings where Flo initially takes charge, but learns that EACH of them have their own skill sets that, when used collectively, make camping fun.
Kids will get a kick out of these two young weimaraners, pitching a tent, fishing, carrying a canoe in tandem and even braving a waterfall! Is that a bear up ahead, or merely a rock formation in disguise? Good thing Wendell has his trusty souvenir hatchet on hand, as Flo cedes the lead to Wendell, post bear contact. Holding hands as they find their way back to mom and dad at their campsite (home), you can almost hear the crickets chirping in the night sky as they trudge back. Love that picture!
I like this book because Flo and Wendell are two siblings that ARE different, like each of the ones you may have at home. AND, your young readers may even recognize a bit of a pattern of subtle interplay with their own siblings. Just maybe they might learn that happiness depends on being yourself AND letting your brother or sister be that too!
It may not be easy, but it’s more fun that way!
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