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Cover image for A day with Wilbur Robinson
A day with Wilbur Robinson




1st ed.
Publication Information:
[New York] : Harper & Row, ©1990.
Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
General Note:
"Ages 4-8"--Jacket.
While spending a day and night in the Robinson household, Wilbur's best friend joins in the search for Grandfather Robinson's missing false teeth and meets one wacky relative after another.


Call Number
JP Joy

On Order



While spending the day in the Robinson household, Wilbur's best friend joins in the search for Grandfather Robinson's missing false teeth and meets one wacky relative after another.

Author Notes

Author and illustrator, William Joyce was born December 11, 1957. He attended Southern Methodist University.

He has written and illustrated many award-winning picture books. His first published title was Tammy and the Gigantic Fish. His other titles include George Shrinks, Dinosaur Bob, Santa Calls, The Leaf Men, A Day with Wilbur Robinson, Bently and Egg, and Rolie Polie Olie. In addition to writing and illustrating, he also works on movies based on his books.

Among other awards, he has received a Golden Kite Award Honor Book for Illustration and a Society of Illustrators Gold Medal. In addition, he received two Annie awards for his Rolie Polie Olie series on the Disney Channel. He also won an Academy Award in 2012 for the category of Best Animated Short Film for for his work: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. He made The New York Times Best Seller List with his title The Numberlys.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

The Robinson's house is not like anyone else's because Wilbur's family is not like any other. The slim plot that involves Wilbur and his visiting friend looking for Grandfather's lost false teeth is just a device to introduce the wonderfully weird family members. Most of the jokes are only in the pictures, while the restrained, slightly tongue-in-cheek text provides a satisfying contrast. The text states that Aunt Billie is playing with her train set, Cousin Pete is walking the cats, and Uncle Art has just arrived from abroad, but the trains are shown as full sized, the cats are tigers, and Uncle Art is stepping out of a flying saucer. The illustrative style is reminiscent in both color and form of 1940s advertising art. Many details such as hairstyles, clothing, and even a robot seem influenced by that period. In keeping with the advertising look, the layout is open and spacious. Although the figures often appear frozen in a pose, even when gesticulating, and the two boys are mainly passive observers except in a close-up of a wild pillow fight, the imaginative details and the changing perspectives keep the pictures interesting. Children may not realize that the dancing frogs are watching Fred Astaire movies or that sister has a model of the Empire State building for a headdress--these jokes are for adults--but they will enjoy the imaginative play and delight in filling in the text. --Karen James, Louisville Free Public Library, KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Dinosaur Bob fans should rejoice: in his latest work, Joyce pulls out all the stops and introduces the weirdest family since his Lazardo clan. A young narrator, going to see his best friend Wilbur, remarks, ``His house is the greatest place to visit.'' Readers soon see why. Wilbur's large household includes an aunt whose train set is life-sized, an uncle who shares his ``deep thoughts'' (``Mississippi spelled with o 's . . . would be Mossossoppo !'') and a grandfather who trains a dancing frog band. There's not much in the way of formal plot here--save a slight mystery involving Grandfather's missing false teeth--but Joyce's wonderfully strange paintings abound with hilarious, surprising details and leave the impression that a lot has happened. A visit to the Robinsons' is a bit overwhelming (as the narrator says, ``I was kind of sad to leave, but I was ready to go home for a while''), but it's a trip children will want to make again and again. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

Wilbur Robinson's house is definitely not of this world: Uncle Gaston blasts himself out of a cannon; Cousin Laszlo demonstrates his new antigravity device; and Wilbur and a friend find Grandfather's missing false teeth in a frog's mouth. The quirky, surreal humor is evident in both text and art. From HORN BOOK 1990, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

On this wildly surreal visit to a friend's home, the narrator's experiences include being served by Lefty, an octopus; trying Cousin Laszlo's antigravity device; and hearing a dancing frog band playing with ""Mr. Ellington and Mr. Armstrong."" Joyce's paintings are sleek, amusingly zany, and studded with curious detail; but Van Allsburg's similarly imaginative explorations have more depth. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

PreS-Gr. 2. Each family is odd is in its own way, but none is as eccentric as young Wilbur Robinson's. Joyce expands on his 1990 title just in time for the story's film adaptation, Meet the Robinsons, next year. The basic story is the same: Wilbur's best friend describes a visit to the Robinson house, which begins when a giant octopus opens the door. New spreads include images of an uncle who throws snowballs and dinosaurs lounge poolside (the time machine was left on). The endpapers and cover have also been redesigned. As in the original, the real fun is in the tension between the deadpan words and the fantastical pictures: It's kind of dull around here today, says Wilbur as a giant locomotive steams through the hall and an uncle shoots himself from a cannon. Save this for small groups, which will most appreciate the wondrous visual details. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2006 Booklist