Literary Critters

William Shakesbear's Journey for Inspiration

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Pub Date 02 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 09 Aug 2022

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Literary Critters is a truly unique picture book, introducing young readers to classic literary figures and encouraging them to use their imaginations. As William Shakesbear visits his fellow Literary Critter Guild members, he’s greeted with lots of advice from his author friends and has some adventures along the way.

This playful story promotes literacy and storytelling as quirky playwright William Shakesbear sets off to find some inspiration for his new play. Along the way, Will asks his Literary Critter friends about what inspires them to write—including Mole Dahl, Crane Austen, Beatrix Trotter, Edgar Talon Crow, Yak Kerouac, C.S. Shrewis, Langston Mews, and more. He also invites young readers to become part of the Literary Critters Guild and continue growing in their love for all things reading, writing, and books.

Literary Critters includes:

  • A playful introduction to iconic authors
  • A personalized page in the book that invites the reader to become a member of the Literary Critters Guild
  • Whimsical art and characters created by Sophie Corrigan
  • Content for children ages 4-8, perfect for instilling a love of reading and literature


If your child loves Literary Critters, check out these other titles by Sophie Corrigan:

  • Pugtato Finds a Thing
  • Pugtato Babysits the Snouts
  • And board book—Pugtato Let’s Be Best Spuddies

Literary Critters is a truly unique picture book, introducing young readers to classic literary figures and encouraging them to use their imaginations. As William Shakesbear visits his fellow...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780310734093
PRICE $17.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

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Average rating from 67 members

Featured Reviews

If I had to pick one children's book to read over and over, THIS would be it! I envy Sophie Corrigan's imaginative talent.

Poor William Shakesbear has writer's block. Who better to help than his charming friends, who have all sorts of wild suggestions?

The characters are delightful, my favorite is Yak Kerouac. The illustrations are positively delicious. I look forward to more books from this author. And in the meantime, I'm buying a copy of this book for every friend I have.

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I loved it. Maybe it's my reader's heart or my teacher brain, but I envisioned all the ways I could use this in my 5th grade writing units, all while giggling at the literary-puns. The illustrations were beautiful. I do feel as though it is quite long for younger ages, but manageable. Definitely on my list for purchase!

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I was excited for this book from the moment I saw the cover. Literary puns are the best and this book does a great job of utilizing different animals for famous authors. As an adult it was a fun connection to authors and their works, while being silly and full of gorgeous illustrations. The story follows William ShakesBEAR as he searches for inspiration for his new play. Along the way, he meets various friends and fellow authors, such as Chicktor Hugo and Beatrix Trotter as they offer suggestions (which have some semblance to the stories they write.) Overall, this is a book that I believe both children and adults will love to read again and again.

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Holy cuteness! I love all the play on author names, the darling illustrations (so many sweet details) and how each animal friend brings forward some of the author traits! Seriously so amazing!

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A pure delight for adults and children alike! The title drew me in immediately, and the clever animal characterizations of famous authors kept me riveted until the very end. The artwork is absolutely stunning and the style is spot-on for this story. I was thrilled that there were images at the end of the book with the real names of the authors. This book is a fantastic introduction to classic literature and authors for the littlest readers. I will read this to my grandson again and again, and will recommend it for all of our school's elementary libraries.

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William ShakesBEAR has writer's block of the severest kind. He is about to go into hibernation, but can't seem to sleep yet as he feels uninspired on what to write for his next book. So ShakesBEAR goes for a walk and sees all his literary classic writer friends along the way who offer bits and advice on what inspired them and their writing! It is a remarkable walk and day to be sure and ShakesBEAR is exposed to many great writers and their inspirations. Feeling rejuvenated and a bit sleepy after a tea party, Will goes back to his cave to hibernate. Read on to find out the name of his next classic tome!

It is truly creative and beautifully illustrated. I really loved to see how the different writers were depicted and the animals that were used to depict them. Because he is my favorite of the "classics", I will use Poe as an example. He is depicted as/named Crow (yes, all the names of the authors rhyme or connect perfectly with their corresponding animals). I also thought the connections to what each author was doing and their own literary works was genius. The Bronte sisters were in a class bowl as prawns (because duh - women weren't expected to write and they were trying to break the glass ceiling).

Very, very clever and I enjoyed it immensely.

I could see using this picture book at any level to connect authors to their works/inspirations and their personalities. Well done!

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A precious story of William Shakesbear trying to figure out what he should write about. Along the way, he meets many other liteary critters. I was so in at Crane Austen but then I happened upon Wagatha Christie and Chiktor Hugo and was in love. Such cute illustrations and a great introduction to a variety of literary figures for children!

I received my copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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"Literary Critters" is one of the cutest books I've ever read. It follows William Shakesbear trying to find some inspiration for his writing. Mole Dahl's ideas were too wild and fantastical, Crane Austen's ideas were too simple. Beatrix Trotter thought that getting a pet would help inspire William but that was too much responsibility for him because he has to hibernate during the winter. On his journey he met other animal characters inspired by classic literary writers. My personal favorites were C.S. Shrewis and Wagatha Christie. Thankfully after a nice hibernation he was able to write his play after getting inspired by his dreams of all the things his writer friends told him. This was such a fun book. It would be great for children who like to read or write.

Thank you Netgalley for giving me a sneak peek of this ARC.

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Teachers- RUN, don't walk to add this book to cart! Not only do the character names have the most PUNNY names relating to authors, William ShakesBEAR and Crane Austen to name a few, but this book shows how even authors need a little help sometimes from their friends. I would definitely use this book when teaching writing and how to draw inspiration from talking to friends and seeing the world around you, just like William Shakesbear. The illustrations are so cute and the writing is very clever and fun!

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of this book!

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Fantastic picture book. We follow William Shakesbear who is in trouble. He needs inspiration for his new play. He visits several friends who give them some ideas. So clever, the choice of each animal for each author is fun. They suggest their main themes and we immediately recognize the books. Awesome humor in the illustration too.
It had me at Prawntë Sisters, Charles Chicken, and Chicktor Hugo.
Also, the reader is now part of this literary club and the last page makes us feel included with the questions.

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✍️ This is a delightful and gorgeously-illustrated children’s book!

✍️ William Shakesbear is looking for inspiration for his next play, so he asks for help from all of his literary critter friends. Critters include Mole Dahl, Crane Austen, C. S. Shrewis, Yak Kerouac, and more!

✍️ Each literary critter recommends the type of stories they like to write themselves and the dialogue often includes a quote from the real author they are portraying, or least an allusion to it. For example, Crane Austen suggests writing stories about relationships and she tells Shakesbear “If a story is well-written, I always find it too short” which is, of course, a famous Jane Austen quote. I was delighted to find out how each literary critter responded.

✍️ This book is an adorable way to introduce children to classic authors and perhaps pique their interest in learning more about them and their stories.

✍️ I kind of want this book!!! It’s that’s cute! This would be a great gift book for a book lover, particularly someone who loves classic literature. While it is written for kids approximately 4 years and up (32 pages), it’s not just for kids IMO! Plenty of adults will find this quite charming.

Thank you @Netgalley and @Zonderkidz for an eARC of this book, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

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Oh my STARSSSS, this book is SO. CUTE. I can’t get over the literary puns and the beautiful illustrations.

Literary Critters tells the story of William ShakesBEAR trying to find inspiration for his next play from his friends, Edgar Talon Crow, C.S. Shrewis, Wagatha Christie, and more. The reader also receives a certificate as an official honorary member of the Literary Critters Guild, which is just adorable. Parents will love reading this book with their children, and it’s a must have for any children’s library! Seriously SO. CUTE.

Thank you NetGalley and Zonderkidz-Books for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

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This is a punny delight of a book! I look forward to using it in my classroom to see which references students pick up on. Creative, cute, and imaginative.

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This was truly delightful. Already the story was so wonderful, BUT THE PUNS! THE PUNS, MY DEAR BOY! CRANE AUSTEN. T.S, ELEPHANT. LANGSTON MEWS. LORIS CARROLL. I simply could not. Each one sent me giggling again and again. Same with the references to their books. It was truly a literary smorgasbord of joy.

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