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Welcome to Wonderland: Home Sweet Motel
New York Times Bestseller


From Chris Grabenstein, the award-winning bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library and co-author with James Patterson of I Funny, House of Robots, Treasure Hunters, and Jacky Ha Ha, comes a hilarious illustrated series about all the wacky things that happen when you live in a motel!

Eleven-year-old P. T. Wilkie may be the greatest storyteller alive. But he knows one thing for a fact: the Wonderland Motel is the best place a kid could ever live! All-you-can-eat poolside ice cream! A snack machine in the living room! A frog slide! A giant rampaging alligator! (Okay, that last one may or may not be made up.) There's only one thing the Wonderland doesn't have, though—customers. And if the Wonderland doesn't get them soon, P.T. and his friend Gloria may have to say goodbye to their beloved motel forever.


They need to think BIG. They need to think BOLD. They need an OUTRAGEOUS plan. Luckily for them, Gloria is a business GENIUS, and OUTRAGEOUS is practically P.T.'s middle name. With Gloria's smarts and P.T.'s world-famous stories and schemes, there's got to be a way to save the Wonderland!

BONUS: Includes fun extras like P. T. Wilkie's outrageous (and sometimes useful) things you learn living in a motel. Installment 1: How to say "Help! The toilet is clogged!" in over twenty languages!

WELCOME TO WONDERLAND: HOME SWEET MOTEL is the winner of the 2017 Sid Fleischman Humor award from the SCBWI and the 2017 Denise McCoy Legacy Award for Humor!

Denise McCoy Award

The Sid Fleischman Humor Award is an award for authors whose work exemplifies the excellence of writing in the genre of humor. The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators established the award to honor humorous work, so often overlooked in children's literature by other award committees. SCBWI reserves the right not to confer this award in any given year.

Established in 2005, the Denise McCoy Legacy Award honors the author of the previous year's most humorous children's book. The award was established to honor the beloved local independent bookstore owner Denise McCoy who was a strong advocate for children's literacy and is fondly remembered for her inspired readings to the children, particularly humorous books, which she adored, having an incredible sense of humor herself.

Roadside Americana
Roadside Americana
St. Pete Beach
St. Pete Beach

Wonderland   Wonderland   Wonderland


Random House Children's

Random House Children's

To purchase a personalized copy, please contact:
Book Culture on Columbus
450 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY, 10024
Phone 212-595-1962

Random House Books for Young Readers, Hardcover, October 2016, ISBN: 978-0553536027

Chris Grabenstein with alligator   Wonderland
Chris having fun in Florida!



Welcome to Wonderland: Home Sweet Motel Audiobook

A "quirky, upbeat romp, which is filled with mystery, danger, and laughs. P.T.'s longing for his absent father and his unflagging optimism make him a sympathetic narrator that will leave readers looking forward to the next installment in this new series."
   —Publishers Weekly

"A delight. P.T. is a hoot and a half. Refreshing. Endearing. A funny, madcap dash. Grabenstein avoids an episodic feel and threads in a mystery that blooms in the last act and that puts this particular read over the top. A funny and promising start to a new series."

"This is classic Grabenstein. The mystery should satisfy Grabenstein's Mr. Lemoncello followers, and the humor and visuals will appeal to fans of his collaborations with James Patterson. VERDICT This new series should be a hit."
   —School Library Journal

"Charm galore, as well as heart to match. Easy and breezy, this well-paced novel....belongs in the hands of any readers wanting their bad guys bad, their good guys great, and a little of Wonderland's promised fun in the sun."
   —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Outrageous hijinks and nonstop hilarity—five-stars! Kids who check into this madcap motel will want to stay forever!"
   —Lincoln Peirce, author of the Big Nate series

"So funny I fell off my bed!"
   —Izzy B., age 10

Chris in Florida when he was P.T.'s age!

Chris Grabenstein in Florida   Wonderland

Chris (far right) with his family on their annual vacation to St. Petersburg Florida in 1968. In the back row are brother Tom and Uncle Gus Lemonopolous. In the front row: brother Bill, brother Steve, his "για για" (Greek for Grandmother) Lemonopolous, his dad (Thomas A. Grabenstein), brother Jeff, and Chris.


Chris and his family went on vacation to St. Petersburg, Florida every summer for two decades to visit his grandparents and have fun in the sun.

sun graphic Chris and Grandmother
  Here's Chris and his grandmother, circa 1958

On the ride down to Florida, they stopped off at all sorts of wacky roadside attractions.

Roadside Attraction Roadside Attraction

Roadside Attraction Roadside Attraction

Grabenstein family Grabenstein family
Chris (kneeling on the right) with his four brothers and their grandmother in St. Petersburg, 1962 Chris, in the plaid shirt on the right, with his brothers, dad, grandparents, and uncle in Florida, 1963

Wonderland   Wonderland   Wonderland

In the 1960s and 70s, Chris and his family stayed at the Cheri Lynn Motel on Treasure Island near St. Petersburg. It's the model for the Wonderland building.

Cheri Lynn Motel palm tree

Grabenstein family
In 1970, Chris had very long hair, which was extremely hot in Florida in August! Here he is behind his brother Bill and next to his brother Steve, who liked to eat magnolia blossoms.

Cheri Lynn Motel
Fact: The Cheri Lynn is still open on Treasure Island! Chris visited it recently while researching his new book series.

Thanks for the memories, Florida!