Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Lori Mortensen
Illustrator: Matt Phelan
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co
Dreaming of getting a pet, Wendell sets his sights on a walrus. He just knows if he could find a walrus, it will make the best pet! Finding a walrus proves to be trickier than he imagines. The pet store doesn't sell them. Wendell decides the only thing to do is to write his future pet walrus a letter, throw it into the sea in a bottle, and wait. While sitting on a rock and waiting for his new best friend to swim to shore, Wendell meets another boy who has the same idea, but for a pet whale. They wait together. Soon they start telling jokes and playing games. The two boys discover they don't need pets to have a great time, they only need a great friend.
If Wendell Had a Walrus reminds readers that sometimes when their fantastic plans fall through, something better happens instead. Wendell sets out to make a walrus into a pet, and although that never happens, he meets a great friend who he can do all the things he wanted to do with his walrus. Often, when we dream up great plans to solve our problems, the actual solution is much easier and right in front of our noses. This is an imagination sparking tale, and young elementary-aged children will daydream right along with Wendell and then be pleased when his dreams come true in the form of a new friend.