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Willy the Dreamer (Willy)

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  238 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Children will love the evocative world of Willy's daydreams--a world of heroism, fame, adventure, the past, and the future. The author's stunning illustrations (look for a banana in every scene) pay homage to great painters, while exploring ordinary childhood fantasies with extraordinary flair. Full color. 32 pp. Ages 4 and up. Pub: 4/98.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published 1998 by Candlewick Press (first published June 28th 1997)
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(showing 1-30)
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Melissa Cooney
Sep 08, 2012 Melissa Cooney rated it it was amazing
This picture book by Anthony Browne follows the many adventures of a chimp named Willy. These adventures all take place in Willy’s dreams.
We see Willy dreams of many things such as being a Film Star, a Singer, a Sumo Wrestler, a Ballet Dancer, a Painter, An Explorer, a Writer, a Scuba Diver, a Giant, a Beggar or a King. He dreams of both the future and of the past, and also of strange and wonderful landscapes both real and imaginary. Superheroes and monsters and bananas all feature in Willy’s d
Jul 17, 2012 Louise rated it it was amazing
'Willy the Dreamer' was the first piece of Browne's work I've read and it certainly won't be the last. This picture book gives a personal insight into Willy's aspirations for life, from becoming an explorer to becoming a famous writer. He belives he can become anything he wants and the author plays on opposites to illustrate this. I found this book gripping from the very first page to the last, with a great sense of curiosity to find out what Willy dreamt of becoming next with the flick of every ...more
Jan 22, 2008 Kristen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This children's book has more than meets the eye. While the book itself on the surface is a clever treament to a child-aged gorilla's fantasies of having adventures flying, exploring and morphing into monsters, there is definitely a deeper level.

The treatment of gorillas and bananas is so thorough- a mermaid's tail becomes a banana, a hot air balloon becomes a gorilla's face. You could read this book over and over again to count the secret bananas, and also, for older readers, to compare them to
jenna nims
Nov 01, 2007 jenna nims rated it it was amazing
i love his illustrations - how he incorporates famous artists works into his own - very fun
Alex Alderson
Nov 26, 2015 Alex Alderson rated it really liked it
Willy dreams of many different things, good and bad, and we can discover a lot about these dreams by looking closely at the pictures.

Many of the illustrations contain references to things that Browne is assuming we already know. For example, the image of Willy's dream of being a film star shows us characters from Tarzan, Mary Poppins, The Wizard of Oz, Frankenstein, King Kong and others.

Browne also assumes knowledge of certain animals, particularly in the image of Willy as a scuba-diver where we
Feb 25, 2012 Julie rated it it was amazing
Anthony Brown did it again! This time I was in shock by the amazing illustrations. I found the artwork was what made the story that more amazing. I believe this book was fun. I loved the bananas in the pictures. Children would ADORE this book because children dream of all of these things and are curious about them. I would use this book to show how people are different. Diversity is a beautiful thing and people need to understand the importance of it and I believe this book shows diversity. I lo ...more
Sep 24, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Interesting concept book about our capacity to dream, with a chimp as the main character. Willy is shown sleeping in the first frame, and then each subsequent frame (illustrations are shown as framed paintings) shows him in whatever scenario he's dreaming about. Most are positive - in a movie, as a rock star, or a famous painter. A couple are poignant: as a beggar or unable to walk. In the last frame we wonder how many of the dreams were REM-induced and how many were daydreams.
Jillian Menendez
I really enjoyed the great pictures in this book, they had great detail and I that young children would really enjoy this story. It is a fun and creative story about wonderful dreams. I would read this to younger children and I think it is a boo that they would be able to read on their own in first or second grade.
Mar 09, 2011 Jessica rated it it was amazing
My class thought this book was funny, cute, imaginative, and had excellent illustrations. We also thought it was very thoughtful and creative. We love Anthony Browne books and Good Reads!
Nov 04, 2007 Vanessa rated it it was amazing
Kids book + art = very cool book!
Leigh Perry
Sep 23, 2015 Leigh Perry rated it really liked it
Willy the Dreamer by Anthony Browne is about Willy’s dreams, dreams of fame, adventure, heroism, the past and the future.
This is a vertically oriented picturebook. The end papers are the same in the front and the back. Both convey images of bananas which are of course Willy’s favorite because he’s a chimpanzee. The title page is a large panel or picture frame with wooden borders that serves as a window into illustration. The image emphasizes the dream states that Willy may have because he is in
Sep 17, 2013 Meridith rated it it was amazing
Anthony Browne's Willy the Dreamer is a creative masterpiece that draws the reader into each and every page. It is about Willy, a chimp, who imagines he can be anything in the world. Each page tells a story and lets you into Willy's wild imagination. Willy, like many children, has different hopes and aspirations that change from page to page or day to day. Willy dreams he is a movie star or singer, a scuba diver or explorer and much more.

The elaborate illustrations in this story are accompanied
Sep 23, 2014 Debbie rated it it was amazing
Willy the Dreamer is a dreamy book about a Chimp who dreams that he is of many different professions. Every character is of ones that are familiar and he has seen before. For instance when he dreams of being a movie star the characters are of the "Wizard of Oz", "Mary Poppins", "King Kong", and even Charlie Chaplin. Also when he dreams of being a singer he is actually "Elvis". The other characters he imitates in his dreams are of a sumo wrestler, ballet dancer, explorer, painter, scuba diver, an ...more
Jul 20, 2009 Farah rated it it was amazing
Kesan pertama gue buat buku ini.. GEDE BANGEEEET!!! Susah nyampulnyaaaa!!

Seriusan. Buku ini begitu besar ukurannya. Dan cukup tebal.
Tapi begitu buka halaman pertama, gue langsung jatuh hati dan ngga bosen-bosen bacain buku ini terus. hihihi...

Hal yang sangat menarik perhatian gue tentang buku ini adalah disetiap halamannya, SELALU ada gambar pisangnya. Atau ada gambar benda-benda yang dimiripin ama pisang. Gue awalnya mikir, kenapa banyak banget pisang berarakan disana dan disini?

Kemudian gue te
Juliana Duarte
Dec 12, 2011 Juliana Duarte rated it really liked it
Willy the Dreamer by Anthony Browne is another great postmodern picture book. This is a good book for very young students. It is about Willy the main character who loves dreaming and he believes that he can be anything whether its a painter or a scuba diver. It goes on and on about what Willy dreams he can be and all of the magical places his dreams take him. I think this would be very entertaining for young students because it will get their imagination going. You could also do class assignment ...more
Hilary Yastrum
This book was a very good read! I had never read any of Anthony Browne's picturebooks before but I am glad I finally had a chance to! Especially a book about dreaming! I personally am a dreamer, and even now you can find me daydreaming off into my own little world. I think this book is great for children because they get to see a wonderful story that involves a character who believes he can be anything and everything he wants to be! They will see that whether it is dreaming about your future car ...more
Anna Rothenhoefer
Oct 11, 2011 Anna Rothenhoefer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Willy the Dreamer has fascinating illustrations. I found it interesting that Anthony Browne used monkeys/gorillas as the characters in this picturebook as well. I wonder if all of his picturebooks are like that. There are also bananas in a lot of the pictures. For example, in one of the illustrations the character's ballet shoes are made out of bananas. I think that children will enjoy this book because of all the dreams that Willy dreams and because the illustrations are so detailed. I would re ...more
Stef Rozitis
Apr 22, 2015 Stef Rozitis rated it liked it
Shelves: early-childhood
So...unlike Willy the wimp I quite liked this book. I love how all the illustrations have ridiculously placed bananas in them. I like the diversity of the dreams. I am still a little uneasy about gender in the illustrations but I think the way it is presented here is a lot more complex and open to being interpreted more liberatively.

There is some sense here behind the more obvious silliness- because we really can and should be that free in our dreaming. Add to that how easy the text is to read a
Kaye Ding
Feb 06, 2013 Kaye Ding rated it really liked it
The pictures and designs are really creative and nice, especially for the ubiquitous and versatile bananas. The use of colours are mostly bright and warm, which takes away the remoteness from present world and dreamland. I think it inspires readers of every age match their own dreams with the ones the protagonist has. A grorilla as he is, he is brave and free enough to dream of everthing. While some people often trap themselves into a black box having no dreams or even not dare to dream their dr ...more
Feb 26, 2012 Traci rated it liked it
I'm not exactly sure what to think of this book. I didn't feel that it had much of a story to it. It mostly just had odd pictures and basic sentences about what Willy was dreaming about. I'm sure it had a deeper meaning but it went over my head so I think it would definitely go over younger kid's heads too. The pictures were great though. Almost everything in them was made out of parts of bananas. Like in Willy's Pictures, the monkeys were the humans and humans were the animals. Cute book but ki ...more
ESF Tsing Yi
I'm a big fan ofAnthony Browne: his picture books are always beautifully detailed and very thought provoking. Willy the Dreamer is a great starting point for talking about imagination, dreams for the future, and what children might want to be or achieve. Nice simple text means it's accessible for K1, while the illustrations are stimulating and inspiring enough to capture the imaginations of K2. Just marvelous.
Sep 19, 2014 Valissa rated it it was amazing
Willy, the lovable ape, joins us again is a surreal and fantastical picture book about being a dreamer. The cover illustration of Willy dreaming in an armchair floating over the sea captivates and provokes the reader to spot and wonder about the ubiquitous bananas to come throughout the story. Each vivid watercolor tells its own story and its own jokes. Kids will delight in seeing their favorite characters from The Wizard of Oz to Alice and Alice in Wonderland, while older readers will enjoy the ...more
Kayla Fjellbo
Oct 01, 2014 Kayla Fjellbo rated it it was amazing
Every child dreams, so why can't monkeys? Willy is an imaginative dreamer, one night he's a sumo wrestler, and the other he's a ballet dancer. Willy the Dreamer is a great book for a reader just starting out. There are few words on each page to coincide with some amazingly painted illustrations. The illustrations are what really make this book pop. Without these illustrations the book wouldn't have been able to tell the story. There is always so much going on in each page a child's imagination w ...more
Oct 09, 2011 Jazmin rated it liked it
Willy the Dreamer is a book told in third person. The illustrations are funny and a banana always has to be incorporated in each illustration. This is a good book to teach children third person point of view because Willy is referred to as he. After reading this story I would give my students a work sheet with sentences and have hem circle the right word that would make the sentence a third person point of view. For example, a sentence would be; Yesterday afternoon, ___________ went to the store ...more
Katie Sokol
Mar 05, 2012 Katie Sokol rated it really liked it
I love the overall storyline of this book, it's quite entertaining for younger kids. The fact that Willy, the main character, loves dreaming and he believes that he can be anything he puts his mind too is an awesome mindset to show kids. I think this would be very exciting and intriguing for kids because it will get their imagination going, and even give them things to apply in their own life; like setting their mind to do whatever they want. Stories about younger kids dreaming and going above a ...more
Sarah-Rae Bugayong
Oct 12, 2011 Sarah-Rae Bugayong rated it really liked it
Shelves: post-modern
This is the second Browne book I have read. This man most really love monkeys, gorillas, and bananas. But I liked this story more than voices in the park. It was a simple story, but I feel like children from kindergarten to about second grade would enjoy it. It full of different illusions. Some of his dreams are practical and some are larger than life, but I believe it shows that whatever you dream, other people are dreaming it too.
Sun Woong Oh
Sep 14, 2013 Sun Woong Oh rated it liked it
I just wonder why does Anthony Browne love especially bananas? Is that just Willy is a monkey? On the very back of the cover page, there are many blue bananas except only one vivid yellow one? Is that mean something? Most of the illustrations are in the frame, but two of them destroyed the frame, and I liked that. Kids will like that stable page turning and will enjoy those two frames more.
Shannon Obrien
Oct 17, 2011 Shannon Obrien rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book 'Willy the Dreamer' by Anthony Browne. The pictures are very detailed and enjoyable for young children enough that they will be continuously intrigued. I way that I would be able to incorporate this book into my classroom would be to have my children draw pictures of what they want to be when they get older.
Carol Royce Owen
Mar 30, 2012 Carol Royce Owen rated it liked it
The pictures will entertain children in this book as they look for interesting ways Anthony Browne used bananas in the pictures (my favorite was the banana-mouse. The story was simple - all the things Willy dreams, something kids can relate to.
The Brothers
Slight of narrative but rich in illustrations. A fabulous book about a little gorilla that dreams of everything from being a movie star to being a beggar. It includes some awesome art styles (like Dali) and really fun pictures of a little gorilla and his bananas.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Anthony Browne, a Hans Christian Andersen Medalist, is the author-illustrator of many acclaimed books for children, including SILLY BILLY and LITTLE BEAUTY. He lives in Kent, England.
More about Anthony Browne...

Other Books in the Series

Willy (6 books)
  • Willy the Wimp
  • Willy and Hugh
  • Willy the Champ
  • Willy the Wizard
  • Willy's Pictures

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