Mr. Fooster Traveling on a Whim, by Tom Corwin

Tom Corwin’s Mr. Fooster Traveling on a Whim doesn’t quite live up to its publishers’ “Like Harold and the Purple Crayon for adults!” hype, but this elegant, unusual graphic novel is undeniably charming.

Mr. Fooster goes for a walk one Tuesday morning, the better to ponder the world around him. His outing gets a little surreal (he meets a bug the size of a bulldozer, he turns into a tree, he blows a soap bubble that turns into a vintage DeSoto, etc.), but Mr. Fooster remains calm—even appreciative—in the face of oddity, and continues his walk, reflecting on everything from skunks to mandarin oranges.

Mr. Fooster Traveling on a Whim would make a wonderful gift for poetry fans, and many readers will find themselves sharing Corwin's obvious pleasure in words like “ukulele” “katydid”, “newt”, and “mulberry”. Craig Frazier’s sturdy, sepia-toned illustrations are a lovely match for the text, and many of the questions Mr. Fooster considers on his walk are fascinating: why don’t we ever see any baby pigeons? And is there truly no word that rhymes with orange?

Actually, comparing Mr. Fooster Traveling on a Whim with Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon does Mr. Fooster a disservice. Harold is a modern classic, brilliant in its simplicity, and nine hundred and ninety-nine books out of a thousand are going fall short in comparison. Corwin’s story is more on a par with Nick Bantock’s Griffin and Sabine series: they're both deliciously whimsical celebrations of art, language, and atmosphere, sure to entertain readers of all ages.
Posted by: Julia, Last edit by: Julianka


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