Thursday, July 14, 2022

"A Perfect Wonderful Day with Friends" - a bookwrap



A Perfect Wonderful Day with Friends

 by Philip Waechter 

trans. from the German by Melody Shaw. 


* Reading Age:  2-5 years

* Grade Level:  PS-K

* Length:  28 pages

* Publisher:  Gecko Press

* Pub. Date:  August 2, 2022

* ISBN-13:  978-1776574667

* Language:  English

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly – June 15, 2022

In spreads by Waechter, clear, carefully worked drawings capture the merry detritus of daily life inside and out of doors, tree leaves worked in delicate labyrinths of ink.
The secret to happiness lies, this jovial book hints, in welcoming every new event and participating wholeheartedly.

Unwrapping Some Illustrations 

The Book

This delightful book will warm hearts as kids become part of a beautiful summer's day shared with five animals friends.  Racoon is bored and decides to bake his favourite apple cake which he believes will dissipate his boredom.  He discovers he's fresh out of eggs.  Oh no! His friend Fox owns chickens so off he goes to borrow some eggs from her. When he arrives Fox is hard at work repairing a leaky roof but is having a difficult time reaching it.  Raccoon suggests they go to Badger's house to borrow his ladder which will hopefully solve Fox's problem.  

Badger needs help too solving a crossword puzzle so the three friends set off to find Bear.  Along the way the trio encounter crow and the friends manage to have a delicious snack of blackberries en route. 

They find Bear fishing alone by the river.  Unfortunately the fish aren't biting... not even a nibble.  Never letting a moment go to waste the five friends decide to dive into the river and have a blast.  Swimming together is so much fun and it feels great to cool off on this hot muggy day. After a lovely swim they dry out basking in the sunlight and as evening approaches they head off for home.  

The friends help Fox mend her roof using Badger's ladder then they gather some eggs from her chicken coup to bake that mouth-watering apple cake that Raccoon will provide.  Raccoon doesn't bake just one cake but TWO CAKES. One cake is for  Fox, Raccoon, Badger and Crow to share. Lucky Bear gets his very own cake. Can you guess why? 

This heartwarming book is about friendship, teamwork and the fun five friends have as they interact together throughout a magical summer's day.  The illustrations are fantastic and I must admit my favourite style. They are  beautifully detailed and work perfectly with the storyline.  I love the book and highly recommend "A Perfect Wonderful Day with Friends".  

Storywraps Rating - 5 HUGS! 


Meet the Author/Illustrator

Philip Waechter was born in 1968 in Germany. He is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator living in Frankfurt am Main. In 1999 Philip and Moni Port co-founded the community studio LABOR. (Also part of this collective are Gecko Press author/illustrators Jörg Mühle and Anke Kuhl.)

What made a perfect wonderful day with friends when you were a child?

When I was a child, my best friend lived with about 15 people in a shared house, a big old villa. It had absolutely everything! There was a big garden with fruit trees, and a cosy treehouse. We made fires, found treasures and played “gangster on the run” in an old car wreck, which for some reason was also in this garden. We used the cellar as a practice room for bands with different musical instruments: drums, electric guitars, keyboards and amps. We made “music” there, although none of us could play an instrument. And we spent entire afternoons on a real pinball machine. Spending days there with my friends was wonderful and quite perfect.

What is your picture book process? Story first or picture first?

First comes the main idea. Then, as a rule, lots of sketching. The illustrations help me get an overview of the sequence, the page layout and set the scene. The text follows the illustrations … and so everything follows on, pictures build on pictures, text on text and scene on scene.

The book slowly takes shape, the contents tighten up, again and again it is changed, knocked over and reworked. And eventually I have (hopefully) the happy feeling that the characters are starting to come alive and the story really works.

Can you tell us about your art technique (brushes, colours, digital vs hand, paint)?

I draw with black ink fine line pens then make black and white photocopies of each illustration. I colour these with felt pens and work with crayons to bring out the details. I use ink with little sponges on the paper for the background. I work at actual size and make my picture books without a computer.

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