MR. WILMER by Robert Lawson


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Underplaying, rather than overplaying, the idea of a man who can talk with animals, this is the story of Milquetoast-y William Wilmer, who for years has been an insignificant, spineless cog in the Safe, Sane and Colossal Insurance Company, and who -- on his 16th birthday -- discovers he can talk animal. He doesn't believe in his first experience, with a policeman's horse, but when Toby, the lion at the Zoo, tells him about an aching teeth, William passes the information along -- only to be laughed at. He loses his job and is sinless and hopeless, when the Manager of the Zoo expresses his williangness to test William's gift. When it proves to be a fact, William becomes the figure of the day, and is given a permanent job at the zoo to talk to the animals and solve their problems. Publicity is tremendous -- William has no conception of the money he is earning with testimonials, fees, etc. But the Manager of the See manages him well, even to securing the secretary he wants, only to have William almost lose her as a result of gossip. With the aid of the N. Y. police department, she's found, and William marries her and heads for the country on the back of an elephant. There are all sorts of Robert Nathanish touches in incidents and characters, in good humor and entertaining impossibilities. Don't try to sell to the anti-whimsy blo. Plus juvenile sale, particularly as it is a made to order setting for Robert Lawson's beguiling drawings.
Pub Date: May 21st, 1945
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1945


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