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Vernon Is on His Way: Small Stories
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Vernon Is on His Way: Small Stories

(Vernon #2)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  262 ratings  ·  65 reviews
“It is a very nice day,” said Vernon.
Porcupine agreed. “I do not remember a day as nice as this.”
“Except for maybe yesterday,” offered Skunk.

Vernon, Skunk, and Porcupine are back! The stars of Philip C. Stead's acclaimed Home for Bird have returned in three enchanting new stories, Waiting, Fishing, and Gardening, each brimming with the tenderness and wry humor that made th
Hardcover, 64 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Roaring Brook Press (first published 2018)
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3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  262 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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May 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: kidstuff
Three sweet, and gentle tales about a little yellow toad and his friends. Though beautifully illustrated by the author, I'm thinking most children may find the stories a bit dull.

Marjorie Ingall
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-3-6, kids-4-8
I reviewed this for the NYT this week but here is the gist:

So sweet and gentle. The focus is on mood, on reflection, on the moments when the natural world seems kind and safe. Stead’s use of charcoal, pastel and crayon adds to the quiet, tender feeling that suffuses the collection.

In the first of the three stories, “Waiting,” Vernon, well, waits. Like Vladimir and Estragon, he “waits, and waits, and waits.” Stead deploys a huge amount of white space and a long minimalist line of green horizon t
Leonard Kim
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think Philip Stead has reached new heights in this and All the Animals Where I Live. Before, I would find his books well-intentioned but self-conscious to the point of being a little self-defeating. It would be arrogant of me to say he has “matured” but that’s a bit what it feels like with these two books, while keeping what was admirable and distinctive in his writing before.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cybils
Vernon and his friends have several adventures including a lovely adventure fishing. Simple stories. Gentle friendship. Reminiscent of Frog and Toad.
Set up like and Easy Reader chapter book these sweet stories feel a little Arnold Lobel a little Leo Lionni and all Philip Stead.
Jordan Henrichs
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
The 'Waiting' chapter of this book isn't really a chapter, or a small story. It's really just an opener. The 'Fishing' chapter of this book, is a masterclass in picture book writing for young children. It is hilariously thoughtful. The 'Gardening' chapter of this book was a head scratcher. I wasn't quite sure what it was supposed to be about or what I was supposed to take away. Together with Stead's distinctive illustrations, this has a very timeless feel to it. The type of picture book that wil ...more
This trio of short, sweet stories featuring Vernon, Skunk, and Porcupine remind me of the Frog and Toad series of books by Arnold Lobel. The stories feature very simple ideas like waiting for a friend to wake from a nap, learning how to fish, and missing a friend. This would be a great book to share with an emerging reader getting ready for longer chapter books.
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nathans-shelf
Nathan liked the stories but didn't care for the illustrations all that much. He thought they were too babyish.
Aug 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Vernon has returned for a second book following A Home for Bird, along with his friends Skunk and Porcupine. In three short stories, readers get to delight in even more time with these characters. The first story is told almost entirely in images since it’s about waiting. Vernon waits and waits until he suddenly realizes that he’s under way already! In the second story, the three of them head out to go fishing. Porcupine though worries that he is ruining the trip for everyone because he’s never ...more
Elaine Fultz
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Illustrations 5 stars. Writing 4 stars. So this is really a 4 and a half. Vernon is a precious frog? lizard? whose main friends Skunk and Porcupine (minor roles for snail and butterfly) accompany him on low key adventures. Quiet adventures like in the best chapter "Fishing," in which Porcupine frets about his ignorance of the activity then finds out that none of them actually know how to traditionally fish. There are bobbers and hooks around in nearly every scene, but ultimately they sit silentl ...more
Becky B
Three short and simple stories about Vernon (a frog), his friends Skunk and Porcupine, and their adventures waiting, "fishing," and helping cheer up Vernon when he's missing his friend Bird.

This book looks quite long but it reads very quickly. Vernon and friends' adventures are simple, ordinary, relatable, and sweet. I like Stead's use of white space in his illustrations and the way he is ok with imperfect illustrations is refreshing (and just might encourage kids that their illustrations don't
Three stories about three friends:

Waiting: Vernon is waiting and is afraid he will always be waiting, until snail arrives to give him a ride.

Fishing: Vernon and Skunk would like to go fishing, but Porcupine doesn’t know how, so he is nervous. But do Vernon and Skunk really know what fishing is? And does it even matter when you’re enjoying your time with your friends?

Gardening: “Vernon sat alone in his flower garden, thinking about his thoughts.” He’s mostly thinking about his friend, Bird. He’s
Vernon, Skunk, and Porcupine return with three sweet stories, all good friends trying to add to each other's happiness. They take walks, wonder about each other, have worries, but the feeling of comfort helps by being together. It's simply a nice thing reading about these friends walking along, listening to each other, accepting what the other shares. That's what is needed, isn't it? The illustrations show contemplation and a calmness, emotion without being overwhelming. I always enjoy Philip S ...more
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Sweet stories in Stead's melancholy, quiet style. The first features Vernon waiting, waiting, waiting, until the snail he has been sitting on begins to move, and then he is on his way, and we along with him. In Fishing, one of the friends is worried because he doesn't know how to fish, only to realize that Vernon and Skunk don't actually know what they are doing either. In Gardening, Vernon is reminded everywhere of his friend Bird (from A Home for Bird). Porcupine and Skunk cannot decide on wha ...more
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: preschool-2nd grade
4.5 stars
Three short, quiet, simple stories centering on a small frog named Vernon and his friends Skunk and Porcupine. Stead's softly colored art with sketched out lines and smudged background shapes fits the three stories as nothing big happens but everyday life with friends is a good life.

One quibble is the page with Vernon and Skunk taking a nap while Porcupine frets. Vernon looks like a leaf as he uses one for a pillow.
Read for Librarian Book Group
A story in three parts, which I see rather as a story in two parts with a prologue. The illustrations were nice and I loved the porcupine's expression throughout. I especially loved the punchline of the fishing story.  However the gardening story left me with question marks. 
Delia Constantino
Quiet, meditative stories on the simple things in life--friendship, nature, a nap, fishing. The crayon drawings are so beautiful and full of life, you can't help but read the sparse text slowly, stopping to look at all the things, big and small, drawn on each page. Could be a good wind-down for bedtime option.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sweet and thoughtful, with gentle humor and bite-size life lessons, VERNON is an absolute winner. There are themes young and old can relate to, such as missing a friend who isn't around and making the most out of free time with friends.

Veg*n families will appreciate Vernon's fish-friendly version of "fishing," which involves waving at the fish!

Very cute!
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love this book with a Frog and Toad vibe. Caldecott medalist Philip Stead captures simple moments with his writing and illustrations.

"Vernon waits and waits and waits.
Vernon wonders if he will ever not be waiting."

"Vernon sat alone in his flower garden, thinking about his thoughts."

Three short stories that are simple and wonderful in their simplicity.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A sweet, quiet, thoughtful collection of three stories about friends Vernon, Porcupine, and Skunk. My personal favorite was fishing, because the illustrations of Porcupine worrying were so sweet and touching. This reminded me a lot of Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad. If you want a nice, sweet, quiet story, this is a great choice.
Three short stories about forest animals and their adventures. Adorable pictures that match the sweet text.

Their take on fishing is really cute. And I haven't read Home for Bird, but now I really want to- because this book is cute and because I want to know what happened to bird!
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mock-caldecott
It's a miracle ... a Stead book I actually really like! Even more miraculous is that I had rated "A Home for Bird" 1 star. But this one made me smile. It reminded me of Frog and Toad a little, with the slow pace and thoughtful (if silly) characters.
Roben Closs
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Delightfully heartwarming. A little bit Winnie the Pooh; a little bit Frog and Toad. 100% Philip C. Stead. I think it would be hard to read this collection of stories and not crack a smile. Plus the illustrations are lovely and there are fun things to discover on each page.
Jun 05, 2018 added it
Shelves: 2018
I really liked this Philip Stead book. I always like his lettering and the way the title is colored. The stories are nice and simple, reminding me of Frog and Toad. It's nice because the book makes sense and is gentle and calm.
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Three quiet reflective and sneakily funny stories with adorable sweet illustrations. This absolutely charming book requires readers to stop, breathe, quiet the mind and then the enjoyment and appreciation flows!

Perfect for a cozy lap book one-to-one reading experience.
A beautifully illustrated, very quiet book. It is lovely and thoughtful and there are good lessons to be learned from these short stories. But so little happens I'm not sure my emerging readers would be at all interested.
I think that the illustrations are very beautiful. They show color and emotion. However, I didn't like the stories. They felt disjointed.
Jul 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Gentle, quiet stories that are not really for children, if you ask me.
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is a really fun read-alike for kids who love the Frog and Toad books.
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
While a sweet book with endearing art and characters, this doesn’t nearly come close to the pithy and poetic brilliance of its predecessor, A HOME FOR BIRD.
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Philip C. Stead is the author of the Caldecott Medal winning book A Sick Day for Amos McGee, also named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2010 and a Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of 2010, illustrated by his wife, Erin E. Stead. Together with Erin, he also created Bear Has a Story to Tell, an E.B. White Read-Aloud Award honor book. Philip, also an artist, has written and illustrate ...more

Other books in the series

Vernon (2 books)
  • A Home for Bird