Chester's Way

Book review by
Sally Snyder, Common Sense Media
Chester's Way Book Poster Image
An appealing story with a universal theme.

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Kids say

age 4+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is an appealing story with a universal theme that engages readers. Colorful spot illustrations are humorous but lack the sparkle of full-page spreads.

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What's the story?

I am Lily! I am the Queen! I like EVERYTHING! Chester and Wilson are surprised when exuberant Lilly moves into their neighborhood. They've done everything together, in their own way. Now Lilly introduces daring new ways! The humor strikes a chord with children, and the spot illustrations convey each mouse's feelings and actions but are not as engaging as larger paintings.


Is it any good?

The author humorously addresses the childhood issues of resistance to change and accepting new people. Parents will appreciate that Kevin Henkes includes two-way exchanges between the characters. Lily teaches Chester and Wilson how to pop wheelies and talk backward, while they teach Lily how to double-knot her shoes and how to use hand signals. Readers will chuckle when they learn at story's end that the cycle will continue with the arrival of another new kid.

Most pages have a series of small illustrations framed by the white background, but one larger illustration occasionally dominates the page. The watercolor-and-ink paintings skillfully convey the calm and sedate pair juxtaposed with vivacious Lilly. One or both of the boys are reading Advanced Croquet Tips or Bike Safety books in two illustrations.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about getting to know people. Have you ever had to adapt to a new person in your life? What happened?

Book details

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