Cover image for
Fleischman, Paul.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 25 x 28 cm
Wesley's garden produces a crop of huge, strange plants which provide him with clothing, shelter, food, and drink, thus helping him create his own civilization and changing his life.
Reading Level:
AD 820 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.8 0.5 29941.
Awards Note:
Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee, 2000-2001.
Lexile Number:
AD 820 Lexile.
Added Author:
Pub Date:
Candlewick Press, 1999.


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Central - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E FLEIS
Central - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E FLEIS
Children's Museum - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E FLEIS
Oak Forest - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E FLEIS

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WESLANDIA honors the misfits--and the creators--among us.

School is over and Wesley needs a summer project. Having learned that every civilization has a staple food crop, he decides to plant a garden and start his own--civilization, that is. He turns over a plot of earth in his yard, and plants begin to grow. Soon they tower above him and bear a curious-looking fruit. As Wesley experiments, he discovers that the plant will provide food, clothing, shelter, and even recreation. It isn't long before neighbors and classmates have developed more than an idle curiostiry about Wesley and exactly how he is spending his summer vacation. Enter the witty, intriguing world of WESLANDIA.

Author Notes

Paul Fleischman was born in Monterey, California on September 5, 1952. His father is fellow children's author, Sid Fleischman. He attended the University of California at Berkeley for two years, from 1970 to 1972. He dropped out to go on a cross-country train/bicycle trip and along the way took care of a 200-year-old house in New Hampshire. He eventually earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of New Mexico in 1977.

Fleischman has written over 25 books for children and young adults including award winners such as Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, Newberry Medal in 1989; Graven Images, Newberry Honor; Bull Run, Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction; Breakout, Finalist for the National Book Award in 2003; Saturnalia, Boston Globe-Horn Book Fiction Honor. He has also garnered numerous awards and recognitions from the American Library Association, School Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, Booklist, and NCTE.

He founded the grammar watchdog groups ColonWatch and The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to English.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-8. With parents who seem to have leaped straight out of the 1950s, and kids with haircuts that yell "1990s," there's an appealing quirkiness about this purposeful fantasy, which is ripe with possibilities for discussion and guaranteed to be a favorite with every outsider child. Ingenious Wesley is an outcast in a society of sameness: "He alone in his town disliked pizza and soda, alarming his mother and the school nurse." Bullying and parental pressure have little effect, merely solidifying his focus on the science he so loves. When he hits on the idea for using what he's learned for a summer project, his parents scoff . . . until the magical seeds he cultivates yield an extraordinary crop that serves as the basis for a new civilization, Weslandia. Playful wit and cleverness mark the text as practical, farsighted Wesley wins over his detractors and validates himself. A lot of the charm is in the large, richly colored, double-spread artwork. Children will want to spend plenty of time with it, not only looking for reappearing motifs but also mulling over the multitude of fine, funny details. It melds beautifully with the text, creating a wonderfully appealing scenario--a kid taking charge, loving it, and succeeding brilliantly on his own terms. --Stephanie Zvirin

Publisher's Weekly Review

A young nonconformist invents a self-sufficient civilization in his suburban backyard. "Words and images fluidly play off one another as Wesley creates a language for his new produce and the crop erupts into a lush tropical landscape," wrote PW in our Best Books citation. Ages 4-9. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-Young Wesley, who marches to a different drummer, decides to create his own civilization. Glowing acrylics highlight the cookie-cutter conformity of his neighborhood and the extraordinary and exotic details of his new and flourishing domain. (June) (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4Wesley marches to a different drummer. Looking for the perfect summer project, this social outcast remembers reading that every culture has a staple food crop. He decides to plant some seeds in his suburban backyard. In Robinson Crusoe fashion, he finds uses for each part of the unique and unusual plant that emerges (he calls it swist, from the sound its leaves make). By the time school starts again, he has created an entire civilization, including a language, complex games, a counting system, and a sundialall based on the plant. In a very satisfying turn of events, the mohawk-topped kids seen tormenting Wesley in the opening scene march behind their fearless leader, outfitted in Weslandic togs, at the conclusion. Hawkess highly tactile acrylic interpretations of Fleischmans ideas are detailed and clever, his palette brimming with tropical tones. His caricatures of the myopic protagonist, the nosy neighbor, and Wess dim-witted parents are quirky and fresh. The spread of Wesley, surrounded by a jungle of lush red flowers, roasting the tubers and drinking the nectar from his own squeezing device, is any kids idea of paradise. From the personal hieroglyphs on the endpapers to the lacrosse-like game played on pogo sticks, ideas present themselves, ready to pollinate fertile young imaginations. While this book offers a highly inventive approach to any number of topicsbullies, anthropology, individuality, gardening, summer vacationdont wait for a reason to share it.Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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