Willie Was Different by Norman Rockwell
A Children's Story

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Synopsis

A children’s story for the ages by a beloved artist of American life.

Norman Rockwell, the foremost chronicler of small-town American life in paint, wrote just one work of fiction, a children’s story, first published in McCall’s magazine in 1967. It was later republished by Funk & Wagnalls as a book, but this edition is based on Rockwell’s original concept, complete with the color and monotone paintings he created for the story.

Willie is a wood thrush—but a very different kind of wood thrush. Driven by his intimation that he possesses a special genius, Willie leaves his avian fellows to take up singing with the exquisitely down-to-earth Miss Polly, flautist extraordinaire. Together they find fame, and they eventually travel to the nation’s capitol so Willie’s beautiful singing can be appreciated all the more. Yet all the attention and bustle of city life distress Willie and make him stop singing, so Miss Polly brings Willie back to his native woods, where he resumes his tranquil life and music-making with her. But the world remembers and reveres Willie and the genius of his song.

Share Willie’s timeless story with the children in your life. 30+ full-color and monotone illustrations throughout
 

About Norman Rockwell

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American artist Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) is perhaps most famous for his cover illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post-322 covers in 47 years. His work still enjoys great popularity today.
 
Published September 17, 1994 by Countryman Press. 32 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Arts & Photography, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Willie Was Different

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But ""the drive to create had subsided, leaving him empty and bored."" Life in a Smithsonian cage is not the answer and by the time he is returned to the wild the trill is gone....Today in the Smithsonian you can find Willie's (memorial) Room--if your spirits are ""rightly tuned.

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Publishers Weekly

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There the virtuoso loses his spirit: ""Willie was proud to be different, to be a genius, but he did not want to be a celebrity."" Miss Polly rescues him and the two continue their music-""Very softly, just for themselves."" Rockwell's effusive color illustrations will warm new generations, while ...

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Publishers Weekly

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An awkward wood thrush and a small-town librarian team up in the illustrator's only children's story, originally published in McCall's in 1967.

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