Lyle at the Office Book Poster Image

Lyle at the Office



Complex ideas mixed with warmth and wit.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Mr. Bigg fires Mr. Primm, but regrets it afterward.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that fans of the series will enjoy the story and like seeing Mr. Primm's work, but the art has completely lost the bold lines that characterized the earlier books.

User reviews

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Lyle goes to work with Mr. Primm, and of course charms everyone at the office. But when Mr. Primm's boss, Mr. Bigg, insists on using Lyle in an advertisement, Mr. Primm quits. As always, Waber tackles surprisingly complex ideas with warmth and wit.


Is it any good?


Mr. Primm provides here a sterling example of putting family first and standing up for one's beliefs -- quietly and calmly, but also firmly and without hesitation. "Lyle is a very private crocodile," he says, and that's the end of the discussion. Of course some young children may be confused by the issue. Wouldn't it be cool to be on a cereal box or in a commercial? Waber never explains why it's a problem, but adults reading this book with their children can open that discussion themselves.

As the decades have gone by, Waber's art has changed considerably. The first book, The House on East 88th Street, published in 1962, was notable for its bold, black lines and its simplicity, which together conveyed a childlike quality that adults and children alike recognized. Over the years his art has become more refined, colorful, detailed, and sophisticated -- it's still very good, but it's lost that distinctive innocence. Nonetheless, Lyle still delights and entertains, while exemplifying the virtues of friendship, helpfulness, and devotion to family that have been the hallmark of the series.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about standing up for one's beliefs and the rewards -- and possible drawbacks -- of sticking to your principles. Do you speak your mind even if you know others will disagree with -- or disapprove of -- you?

Book details

Author:Bernard Waber
Illustrator:Bernard Waber
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Houghton Mifflin Children's Books
Publication date:January 1, 1994
Number of pages:48

This review of Lyle at the Office was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?