Cover image for Iris and Walter
Iris and Walter
Guest, Elissa Haden.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt Brace, 2000.
Physical Description:
43 pages : color illustrations ; 23 cm
When Iris moves to the country, she misses the city where she formerly lived; but with the help of a new friend named Walter, she learns to adjust to her new home.
General Note:
"Book 1"--p.4 of cover.
Reading Level:
330 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.5 0.5 44206.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.6 2 Quiz: 24705 Guided reading level: K.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Clarence Library READER Juvenile Fiction Readers
Eggertsville-Snyder Library READER Juvenile Fiction Readers
Hamburg Library READER Juvenile Fiction Readers
Kenmore Library READER Juvenile Fiction Readers
Williamsville Library READER Juvenile Fiction Readers
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library READER Juvenile Fiction Readers
Audubon Library READER Juvenile Fiction Readers
Dudley Branch Library READER Juvenile Fiction Readers
Clearfield Library READER Juvenile Fiction Readers

On Order



Iris is sure that life in her new home will be just awful. There is nothing to do and no one to play with in the country. Iris will never be happy there. Then Grandpa suggests a walk. Down the road and around the bend, they discover a huge green tree, a secret hideaway--and a boy named Walter. Maybe life far from the city won't be so lonely after all.

Author Notes

Elissa Haden Guest is the coauthor of Girl Stuff: A Survival Guide to Growing Up. She lives in San Francisco, California.

Christine Davenier has illustrated numerous children's books, including Very Best (Almost) Friends: Poems of Friendship. She lives in Paris.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 1^-3. Iris' family has moved from the city to the country, and Iris is angry. The country is as lonely as Mars, and there's not much to do. She misses the city action and noise--the tango music from the next apartment, the whooshing sounds the city buses make, the rumbling of the subway. To make matters worse, Iris' parents are trying too hard to win her over. Grandpa is the only one who's not pressuring her to love country life. They take a walk and make a marvelous discovery--a rope ladder extending from the spreading branches of a huge tree, and a new friend, Walter. This fresh, humorous portrayal of a girl dealing with the confusing emotions that come with a move is right on target, and so is the resolution. Christine Davenier's exuberant pen-and-ink drawings reveal all the delightful things Iris discovers with Walter--riding a pony, walking barefoot in the cool grass, and spying a red-tailed hawk. An easy-to-read chapter book (the first of a series), just right for children ready to step up their skills. --Shelley Townsend-Hudson

Publisher's Weekly Review

Four gracefully paced chapters, stylish illustrations and a design that allows plenty of breathing room add up to a knockout kickoff to a beginning reader series. Guest (Girl Stuff) lays out the central conflict in the first sentence ("When Iris and Iris's family moved from the big city to the country, Iris was sad"). Davenier's (Leon and Albertine) corresponding pen-and-ink and watercolor-wash illustration takes up most of the spread: a car on a rural road drives into the sunset, as a crestfallen Iris gazes out the rear window, back toward the city. The rest of the first chapter evocatively recounts in just how many ways the girl pines for her former home (e.g., "the long hallway where she roller-skated on rainy days"; in the illustration she appears like Alice in Wonderland bursting out of the corridor). Iris's parents try to cheer her up, but only Grandpa knows what she needs. He helps Iris discover a new friend, Walter, and soon she is savoring country life. Guest forswears a pat resolutionDthe city still occupies Iris's thoughts, conveyed with a skillful and unobtrusive use of repetition ("She dreamed of her noisy street and her wide front stoop. She dreamed of tango music and of roller skating down long hallways"). Guest's economic eloquence is in perfect sync with Davenier's elegant watercolor and ink drawings; the illustrator's urbane graphic sensibility and lush palette of blue and purple hues bring to mind vintage New Yorker covers. Ages 6-9. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-In this beginning chapter book, Iris has moved from the city to the country, and she is not impressed. There are no noises, no stoops to sit on, and seemingly, no children. Her parents encourage her to play in her new yard to no avail; it is her grandfather who finally takes her for a walk and she meets Walter in his tree house. The two become fast friends and Iris learns to appreciate country life. She rides the boy's pony, plays hide-and-seek, and rolls in the grass. The only flaw in the story is that when her pal asks her about life in the big city, all she has to say is, "there are lots and lots and lots of people." Walter replies that in the country "there are lots and lots and lots of stars," and the discussion abruptly ends there. The exchange seems stilted and preachy, and Walter appears to be either very wise or very boring. The pen-and-ink illustrations are a bit sloppy and have a limited palette of primarily greens, blues, and pinks. Overall, though, the story does work, showing the positive qualities of different lifestyles and that friends can be found anywhere.-Holly Belli, Bergen County Cooperative Library System, West Caldwell, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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