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Whistle for Willie Board Book

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When Whistle for Willie was first published in 1964, The New York Times wrote "Mr. Keats' illustrations boldly, colorfully capture the child, his city world. and the shimmering heat of a summer's day." Now the story of Peter, who longs to whistle for his dog, is accessible to even the youngest child in a durable board book edition, with reinforced pages, a handy trim size, and s When Whistle for Willie was first published in 1964, The New York Times wrote "Mr. Keats' illustrations boldly, colorfully capture the child, his city world. and the shimmering heat of a summer's day." Now the story of Peter, who longs to whistle for his dog, is accessible to even the youngest child in a durable board book edition, with reinforced pages, a handy trim size, and safe, rounded corners. Ezra Jack Keats, who died in 1983, was the award-winning author of such children's favorites as The Snowy Day, which won the Caldecott Medal, and Goggles, a Caldecott Honor Book.


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When Whistle for Willie was first published in 1964, The New York Times wrote "Mr. Keats' illustrations boldly, colorfully capture the child, his city world. and the shimmering heat of a summer's day." Now the story of Peter, who longs to whistle for his dog, is accessible to even the youngest child in a durable board book edition, with reinforced pages, a handy trim size, and s When Whistle for Willie was first published in 1964, The New York Times wrote "Mr. Keats' illustrations boldly, colorfully capture the child, his city world. and the shimmering heat of a summer's day." Now the story of Peter, who longs to whistle for his dog, is accessible to even the youngest child in a durable board book edition, with reinforced pages, a handy trim size, and safe, rounded corners. Ezra Jack Keats, who died in 1983, was the award-winning author of such children's favorites as The Snowy Day, which won the Caldecott Medal, and Goggles, a Caldecott Honor Book.

30 review for Whistle for Willie Board Book

  1. 5 out of 5

    Calista

    I love the colors in this books. The backgrounds of pink bricks are so pretty. Amazing colors that jump off the page to this day. It's like Jan Brett, you see a Ezra Jack Keats page of art and you know who it is immediately without knowing the book. It's distinct. Peter is so lucky. I can't whistle and I have tried my whole life. My father has a beautiful whistle. Peter is trying to whistle to get the attention of a Dachshund. He practices and practices until he can finally whistle. W I love the colors in this books. The backgrounds of pink bricks are so pretty. Amazing colors that jump off the page to this day. It's like Jan Brett, you see a Ezra Jack Keats page of art and you know who it is immediately without knowing the book. It's distinct. Peter is so lucky. I can't whistle and I have tried my whole life. My father has a beautiful whistle. Peter is trying to whistle to get the attention of a Dachshund. He practices and practices until he can finally whistle. Willie comes to him and Peter is so happy. The kids enjoyed this book. It is a feast for the eyes.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mir

    A little boy wishes he could whistle, and after many attempts is eventually able to. His dog and parents are suitably impressed. This simple story will probably resonate most with smaller children who are sometimes frustrated by the process of acquiring the skills of older siblings or friends.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kelly H. (Maybedog)

    This now classic storybook has always been a favorite of mine. I remember trying to learn to whistle, too, and I was doing so in order to call my dad's cat in for dinner. The boy in the book, Peter, has a huge imagination and his parents support him in that, such as when he pretends to be his father and his mother tells him she thinks Peter was out with the dog and perhaps he could find him there. I like that the dog is a daschund yet no one makes fun of that. I love that the family is black, an This now classic storybook has always been a favorite of mine. I remember trying to learn to whistle, too, and I was doing so in order to call my dad's cat in for dinner. The boy in the book, Peter, has a huge imagination and his parents support him in that, such as when he pretends to be his father and his mother tells him she thinks Peter was out with the dog and perhaps he could find him there. I like that the dog is a daschund yet no one makes fun of that. I love that the family is black, and that's irrelevant to the plot; they're just another family. The illustrations are simplistic but they are somehow collages, I think, and they fit the story perfectly.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jazzmarie Vedrine

    This book is comical, and everyone would enjoy the story of a young boy, named Willie, who tries and tries again to whistle. It's such a simply story and the author, Ezra Jack Keats, really depicts the mind and behavior of a 4 or 5 year old child in this story. Just like what I had done when I was Willie's age, Willie goes on to think that if he pretended to look and act like his father, then whistling would come naturally. He tried to whistle while wearing his dad's hat,and that didn't happen. This book is comical, and everyone would enjoy the story of a young boy, named Willie, who tries and tries again to whistle. It's such a simply story and the author, Ezra Jack Keats, really depicts the mind and behavior of a 4 or 5 year old child in this story. Just like what I had done when I was Willie's age, Willie goes on to think that if he pretended to look and act like his father, then whistling would come naturally. He tried to whistle while wearing his dad's hat,and that didn't happen. Willie continues to do more tricks and tries again to whistle and nothing happened. Until finally, after practicing and practicing, he blows his first whistling sound. You come to identify with Willie and his efforts in doing something he only thought he had to wait a long time for it to happen. CREATIVE EXPERIENCE: Using a book like "Whistle for Willie", will help in exercising gross and fine motor skills that young children ages 3 to 5 years may need help defining. Like snapping fingers, whistling, hopping, and skipping, for starters. Those movements were not the easiest for me either, growing up but they were best mastered when the teacher played a song with those movements in them, in which I had to copy or imitate what was played in the song. So, through the use of music and movement could I help children start practicing and mastering these difficult gross & fine motor skills.

  5. 5 out of 5

    B. P. Rinehart

    The second in his saga on "Peter," Ezra Jack Keats' sequel to The Snowy Day finds his protagonist a little older, but still as appealing as before. Peter is trying to learn how to whistle so that he can call his dog to him, the titular Willie. In picking this book back up in the library, I reminisce about my own dog that passed away a few weeks ago and remember how I felt first owning a dog. Of course, when I originally read this I did not own a dog at all. One of the things to observe here is the The second in his saga on "Peter," Ezra Jack Keats' sequel to The Snowy Day finds his protagonist a little older, but still as appealing as before. Peter is trying to learn how to whistle so that he can call his dog to him, the titular Willie. In picking this book back up in the library, I reminisce about my own dog that passed away a few weeks ago and remember how I felt first owning a dog. Of course, when I originally read this I did not own a dog at all. One of the things to observe here is the changing of the art-style. As Keats released more books of his fictional Brooklyn neighborhood the art changes and becomes more "rounder." I am guessing that if you read his work in order (which I never did) you can more clearly observe it. This is another superb children's book by Mr. Keats and is easily recommended.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    This book is a classic for a reason. Deceptively simple text and pictures perfectly and delightfully represent the way a young child's (Peter, from SNOWY DAY) mind works.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Olivia Lavelle

    Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats is another nice book. The pictures really enhanced the overall story. Before reading this book I looked at the title and thought this book was going to be about a young boy who lost his dog. As I opened the book to the title page there was the dog alone walking the street. So those factors made me realize "Oh the dog is roaming around while his owner Willie is trying to whistle the dog home." Well I was completely wrong, Willie actually wanted to learn how t Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats is another nice book. The pictures really enhanced the overall story. Before reading this book I looked at the title and thought this book was going to be about a young boy who lost his dog. As I opened the book to the title page there was the dog alone walking the street. So those factors made me realize "Oh the dog is roaming around while his owner Willie is trying to whistle the dog home." Well I was completely wrong, Willie actually wanted to learn how to whistle, because he noticed that a stranger could whistle and the dog would instantly listen. The pictures looked as if they were drawn by a 6th grader. The text in this book was not the main focus of this story, because they were placed in the corners while the pictures bled the whole page. I like this book because it will teach most kids a positive lesson. Don't give up on something you cannot do at the moment, because once you keep trying you will learn.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nora Ramirez

    1- I enjoyed reading this book because is about a little boy that does not give up until he learns to whistle. The pictures are great because it demonstrates how he tries so hard to learn to whistle. This book is great for children that give up easily when learning something new in their daily lives or in school. Also, he uses his imagination like any other child while growing up. For example, he plays catching his shadow. 2- I believe after reading this book to children, they are going to want 1- I enjoyed reading this book because is about a little boy that does not give up until he learns to whistle. The pictures are great because it demonstrates how he tries so hard to learn to whistle. This book is great for children that give up easily when learning something new in their daily lives or in school. Also, he uses his imagination like any other child while growing up. For example, he plays catching his shadow. 2- I believe after reading this book to children, they are going to want to try new things they probably gave up before. They are going to try to catch their own shadows. While reading this book I will stop and demonstrate how I whistle. Also, I will ask questions on something they gave up before. At the end of the story, I will ask them if they want to try to learn to whistle like the boy did.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Taryn

    I adore Ezra Jack Keats. I love his illustration style (collage), I think his sense of composition is flawless, and the stories are great--they're stories without being preachy about something. They're stories about being a kid, from a kid's point of view. They show without telling. I love them. And this one is sweet. About the persistence that children can have about certain things.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Comfort Olajide

    I read this book and it is about the little boy, Peter would like to whistle to call his dog Willie but try very hard but couldn't figure out how to do it. Peter sees other children whistling for their dogs. He tried to whistle in varities of ways between spinning, hiding in boxes, coloring with chalks, pretending to be his father, walking the cracks in the side walks but failed. After many attempts he finally whistle for his dog Willie. Peter was so happy to whistle. He showed his parents he ca I read this book and it is about the little boy, Peter would like to whistle to call his dog Willie but try very hard but couldn't figure out how to do it. Peter sees other children whistling for their dogs. He tried to whistle in varities of ways between spinning, hiding in boxes, coloring with chalks, pretending to be his father, walking the cracks in the side walks but failed. After many attempts he finally whistle for his dog Willie. Peter was so happy to whistle. He showed his parents he can whistle. When his parents sent him to buy some grocery for them he whistle to and from the grocery store. The book teaches children to be persitent in whatever they do. Practice makes perfect. The book is very colorful. I will add this book to my shelf. Learning Experience: Auditory prop: I will discuss whistling is an auditory prop and how one can make sound with mouth and teach children how to whistle by pursing their lips into a tiny O shape, leaving a small opening for air, then by placing the tip of their tongue behind the bottom teeth or against the inside bottom gums and then gently expel air through the mouth. I will then ask them to adjust their tongue position and the small O opening formed by their lips until they hear a note. Once they can sound one note, then they can experiment with their tongue position and the strength of their breath to produce different notes. They can continue to practice until they can whistle perfectly. Vocabularies: I will teach the children vocabularies such as up, down, around, between, under, stop.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lissa

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading "Whistle for Willie", Peter is one determined little boy when it came to wanting to learn how to whistle for his dog. It shows how if you continously practice at something you want to learn it eventually pays off. The illustrations in the book reminds me of a collage, very colorful and abstract, but shows the persistance that Peter is going through to learn how to whistle. Willie is one lucky dog to have an owner who wants to do special things for him. Lea I thoroughly enjoyed reading "Whistle for Willie", Peter is one determined little boy when it came to wanting to learn how to whistle for his dog. It shows how if you continously practice at something you want to learn it eventually pays off. The illustrations in the book reminds me of a collage, very colorful and abstract, but shows the persistance that Peter is going through to learn how to whistle. Willie is one lucky dog to have an owner who wants to do special things for him. Learning Experience: The book "Whistle for Willie" is about Peter wanting to do something special for his dog,so we can use this book to learn more about Peter's dog, Willie. We can have a discussion about what type of dog Willie is,which is a Dachshund, characteristics of this type of breed, and continue on about different breeds of dogs. We can graph the differences/similiarities of dogs, and also ask the children if they have a dog at home and what breed their dog is.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    Nice book about a little (black) boy who wants to learn to whistle, and, predictably, eventually does. It's always nice to have picture books that feature black kids that take place in the US and that don't make "being black" the focus of the story, or else talk all about some "issue". The truth is that there aren't enough books that fit that criteria, and sometimes I think it's nice for my nieces to be able to see books about kids who act and look like them, y'know? So we've got a lo Nice book about a little (black) boy who wants to learn to whistle, and, predictably, eventually does. It's always nice to have picture books that feature black kids that take place in the US and that don't make "being black" the focus of the story, or else talk all about some "issue". The truth is that there aren't enough books that fit that criteria, and sometimes I think it's nice for my nieces to be able to see books about kids who act and look like them, y'know? So we've got a lot of books by Ezra Jack Keats. It's also interesting to me to see how much freedom Willie has. Clearly, this book was written in a less paranoid (if not actually any safer) time.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Renee M

    There's something just magical about the books created by Ezra Jack Keats. The text is simple, but with a genius for simplicity. Not a word is out of place. It draws you in and sets a tone that validates the experiences of childhood, so children connect to the character and feel their own experiences have validity. Plus, the illustrations are divine. Packed with color and pattern. (I love the way the chalk with which Peter draws scrawls across several pages.) I also love that Peter grows up in t There's something just magical about the books created by Ezra Jack Keats. The text is simple, but with a genius for simplicity. Not a word is out of place. It draws you in and sets a tone that validates the experiences of childhood, so children connect to the character and feel their own experiences have validity. Plus, the illustrations are divine. Packed with color and pattern. (I love the way the chalk with which Peter draws scrawls across several pages.) I also love that Peter grows up in these stories so that the reader sees him and his interests change over the timeline of these wonderful stories.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    Have you ever really, really wanted to do something? How did you feel when you were finally able to do it? Encouragement. Don't be hard on yourself if at first you are unable to meet your goals. Try, try again! For a student who is struggling with a goal. Development, somethings take time. did you start talking as soon as you were born? does your little brother/sister drive the car? can you ride a bike? some things take time and that's ok! When Peter was finally able to whistle he felt... w Have you ever really, really wanted to do something? How did you feel when you were finally able to do it? Encouragement. Don't be hard on yourself if at first you are unable to meet your goals. Try, try again! For a student who is struggling with a goal. Development, somethings take time. did you start talking as soon as you were born? does your little brother/sister drive the car? can you ride a bike? some things take time and that's ok! When Peter was finally able to whistle he felt... what do you think he felt? connecting the students to their own emotions.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Yolanda Mason

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Yolanda Mason's Review! I liked this book, it had good illustrations and a good storyline. Upon the time when this book was written the family was in a good place (mother,father,boy.) I believe there was a stereotype of blacks being able to whistle. The boy was trying to imitate his father,that should never end, the boy's mom played along. The children should respond with enthusiasm, I would emphasize it's alright to have a goal of something you would want to achieve-this is an inspiring st Yolanda Mason's Review! I liked this book, it had good illustrations and a good storyline. Upon the time when this book was written the family was in a good place (mother,father,boy.) I believe there was a stereotype of blacks being able to whistle. The boy was trying to imitate his father,that should never end, the boy's mom played along. The children should respond with enthusiasm, I would emphasize it's alright to have a goal of something you would want to achieve-this is an inspiring story.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lori Nii-amassah

    The storyline of “Whistle For Willie” is delightful. It shows persistence and that one should not give up when they can’t do something right away. Children would easily follow along. The colorful illustrations are equally enjoyable. To extend this book you could take the children out for a nature walk and ask them to explore the ground for a long, thick piece of grass. After finding one, show them how to use it in their hands to make a whistle sound.

  17. 4 out of 5

    babyhippoface

    Peter wants so badly to be able to whistle for his dog, Willie, like the boy he watches on the street, but he just can't do it. He keeps practicing, though, and one day...he does it! He whistles! What child can't identify with Peter's desire to whistle? Ezra Jack Keats is an American icon of children's literature, and Whistle for Willie is a classic.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Zina

    This story is about a little boy named Peter who really wants to whistle to catch his dogs attention. He tries several times but he keeps blowing out air, no whistle. He even tries on his dads hat and pretends to be a grown up to try to whistle but no whistle. While he is out playing with his shadow, he sees his dog Willie and he tries to whistle and you never guess what happens, he whistles.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I adore the illustrations of Ezra Jack Keats --

  20. 4 out of 5

    Winter Sophia Rose

    Beautiful Illustrations, Engaging & Sweet! We Loved It!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chinook

    Keats is really good at conveying weather - though the story doesn’t really pull me in the way Snowy Day does. Kids this age are fascinated by whistling - this book makes me think of a Peppa Pig episode about not being able to whistle yet. And the book does a good job of capturing the essence of a hot summer’s day with nothing much to do and the random activities that children find to fill that sort of time. That said, the story was a bit too random for me.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Summer

    Most people know Peter from The Snowy Day. Here is the story of him and his journey to learn to whistle for his dog, Willie. A cute story of learning something new and the joy of sharing it with others.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Delia

    Ezra Jack Keats has recently became one of my favorite children's book authors. "Whistle for Willie" is one of my favorites of his. I love the comical aspects of this story. When reading this book aloud I would emphasize those comical parts such as him hiding under a box to try and trick his dog, as well as him pretending to be his father. Many kids at a preschool age do not know how to whistle so this could be a great learning experience on trying to whistle. I also love the warm colors used in Ezra Jack Keats has recently became one of my favorite children's book authors. "Whistle for Willie" is one of my favorites of his. I love the comical aspects of this story. When reading this book aloud I would emphasize those comical parts such as him hiding under a box to try and trick his dog, as well as him pretending to be his father. Many kids at a preschool age do not know how to whistle so this could be a great learning experience on trying to whistle. I also love the warm colors used in the illustrations. The warm colors bring a sense of liveliness to the story without being overwhelming.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Leigh Triplett

    This book would teach children that sometimes skills do not always come easily and take more time to learn. The pictures are colorful and look like they were designed with paper pieces. Overall it is a fun book to teach the important concepts of patience and practicing skills.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dan Hyer

    Nice book, but somehow it didn't grab us the way that snowy day did.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Christa

    This guy gets kids.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cristina

    a. Summary: A little boy named Peter had a dog named Willie and he wished he new how to whistle for his dog. He was determined to learn after another boy whistle and his dog and Willie ran straight to him with excitement. Peter wanted to surprise Willie by hiding in a carton and whistle at him, but he failed. Peter went home and pretended to be older like his father with his father’s hat on, he tried and tried yet still no whistle. He ran back outside playing with his own shadow and saw Willie c a. Summary: A little boy named Peter had a dog named Willie and he wished he new how to whistle for his dog. He was determined to learn after another boy whistle and his dog and Willie ran straight to him with excitement. Peter wanted to surprise Willie by hiding in a carton and whistle at him, but he failed. Peter went home and pretended to be older like his father with his father’s hat on, he tried and tried yet still no whistle. He ran back outside playing with his own shadow and saw Willie coming again, so hid and tried his hardest, blowing and blowing. i. Review: My overall impression of this picturebook was great. The story line was cute and showed how if you set your mind to something and be yourself you can succeed. He pretended to be older like his father with is hat but when he was running outside to surprise Willie, Peter was playing around with his shadow like a little kid still. He never gave up and he finally taught himself how to whistle Willie and his family were so proud of him. I thought this story was cute and motivational for younger students to try their best and to not give up. I would rate this story a 3.5 out of 5. b. Illustration and Design: The orientation of the book is landscape and the pages side by side when opened are continuous or one big picture. The orientation tells us how the forward movement of Willie to get his dogs attention. It also has a wrap around cover, the front has Willie whistling to his dog and the back has a lot of empty space with the ongoing sidewalk and a window. The peritext included various information and elements, such as: a title and end page that were the same, dedication page “To Ann”, and the copyright (1964) which did not include the medium used. My guess is the medium was various types of paints; watercolor, regular, sponge tactic, even colored pencil maybe.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    This book is fantastic. First published in 1964, it is wonderfully illustrated by a master of his craft. Keats is so good that new children's illustrators get awards named after him. And the topic of this one is straight-up #blackboyjoy. Peter lives in the city and his playthings are a carton he finds on the street, his dad's hat, and his dog Willie, but he's never presented as poor. He spends the book trying to learn how to whistle and finally succeeds at the end, which is more than I've ever b This book is fantastic. First published in 1964, it is wonderfully illustrated by a master of his craft. Keats is so good that new children's illustrators get awards named after him. And the topic of this one is straight-up #blackboyjoy. Peter lives in the city and his playthings are a carton he finds on the street, his dad's hat, and his dog Willie, but he's never presented as poor. He spends the book trying to learn how to whistle and finally succeeds at the end, which is more than I've ever been able to do, so good job, Peter.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nicole G.

    Culture or group portrayed: African-Americans Summary: All Peter wants to do is whistle for his dog, Willie. But he just can’t seem to do it! Will acting like a grown-up make him learn it faster? Sadly, no. Peter does not give up, though, and his perseverance pays off – he can finally whistle. Willie hears it and Peter is so happy, he must go home and show off to Mom and Dad. They are so proud of him and send him to the grocery store, and Peter goes, whistling all the way. Culture or group portrayed: African-Americans Summary: All Peter wants to do is whistle for his dog, Willie. But he just can’t seem to do it! Will acting like a grown-up make him learn it faster? Sadly, no. Peter does not give up, though, and his perseverance pays off – he can finally whistle. Willie hears it and Peter is so happy, he must go home and show off to Mom and Dad. They are so proud of him and send him to the grocery store, and Peter goes, whistling all the way. Cultural/Multicultural evaluation: While this book has a main character, Peter, who is portrayed as African-American (as is his family), Whistle for Willie portrays a neighborhood where children play together regardless of race. Peter’s thoughts are not in stereotypical language, and the plot, such as it is, is easily accessible to all children; not being able to do something, like whistle, is a common frustration. The hope that being older (as when Peter puts on his father’s hat, hoping it will help him learn to whistle) will fix your problem is also something to which all children can relate. The illustrations are colorful collage and show a vibrant neighborhood, although one can tell that this is a different time period (Peter is sent to the grocery store alone, for example). There is a good message here, without being “preachy,” that perseverance pays off. Conclusion/verdict: Recommended for young readers.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ellarie Anderson

    "Whistle for Willie" is about a young African boy who watches his neighbor, who is similar in age to him, whistle successfully and get his dog to run towards him. The boy is intrigued and tries his absolute hardest to learn how to whistle. He hides underneath a carton while bouncing playfully around the neighborhood. The purpose of doing this is to get the dog, Willie, to come to him. By the end of the book, he (predictably) learns to whistle, the dog comes to him, and Peter's parents are proud. "Whistle for Willie" is about a young African boy who watches his neighbor, who is similar in age to him, whistle successfully and get his dog to run towards him. The boy is intrigued and tries his absolute hardest to learn how to whistle. He hides underneath a carton while bouncing playfully around the neighborhood. The purpose of doing this is to get the dog, Willie, to come to him. By the end of the book, he (predictably) learns to whistle, the dog comes to him, and Peter's parents are proud. The illustrations in this book reflect that of a hot summer day. Most illustrations feature warm colors such as red, orange, yellow, and pink, and the majority of the setting takes place outdoors in an urban area. Page 14 features a street pole with the distinct colors of a British flag, which is interesting. It is unclear whether the setting is in Britain or not. The illustrations are abstract, do not follow straight-lines, and are surreal. In regards to multiculturalism, this book is ineffective. The characters, despite being a minority, are flat, display no leadership roles, have no distinctive facial features or characteristics about them. This book perpetuates the stereotype that in nuclear families, fathers are supposed to work all day and mothers are supposed to stay at home, as that's what Peter's parents do. Not good.

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