Chester is a creature of habit. He always does things in very precise ways and he likes his routine and so does his best friend Wilson. Wilson, Chester's best friend, is exactly like Chester. They enjoy the companionship and their shared preferences. Then Lilly moves into the neighborhood. Lilly frightens and appalls the very conventional duo with her exuberance, her outlandish disguises and loud proclamations. They avoid her and reject her offers of friendship. Then, when Chester and Wilson are being harassed by some older children, Lilly comes to their rescue and they first tentatively and then wholeheartedly accept her friendship. Lilly opens up many avenues of adventure for Chester and Wilson and they find, to their amazement, that the three have much in common. All is going swimmingly until Victor prances into the neighborhood and there the author leaves us.
Henkes' loving look at conventional, fearful Chester and non-conforming Lilly gives the reader a gentle way to examine his or her own comforts and challenges. Chester and Wilson's reaction to Lilly at first is one that most readers have felt for newcomers and everyone is relieved when Lilly breaks through the barriers. Although his characters are mice, they are very obviously ourselves in fur and whiskers.
Related Areas of Carol Hurst's Children's Literature Site
- Kevin Henkes. Author study article from the July 96 Newsletter.
- Book review of Julius, the Baby of the World also by Kevin Henkes.
- Bullies in Children's Literature using Chester's Way among other titles.
Related Areas Elsewhere on the Internet
- Chester's Way. A focus book sample chapter from Friends and Relations by Carol Hurst and Rebecca Otis.