Whistle for Willie
Author & Illustrator: Ezra Jack Keats
Publication date: 1964
Publisher: Viking Press
Summary : In this charming sequel to The Snowy Day, an older and wiser Peter wants to learn to whistle. Wouldn’t it be the perfect way to call his dog Willie? Peter tries so hard to whistle that his cheeks hurt, but he doesn’t give up. With a very light hand and his legendary illustrations, Keats creates a world in which effort yields results.
As J (my youngest son) and I followed along with Peter in his city neighborhood, attempting again and again to whistle, J and I tried to whistle, too. I can’t whistle at all, so my husband and oldest son had to show off by demonstrating their whistling skills for J. I love how this classic story held the attention of my son. This timeless story gives the reader a peek into the day in the life of a little boy. Peter loves to explore, pretend and play with his dog. Any boy can relate to that. If you are looking for a classic, check out this book.
I first became familiar with author Ezra Jack Keats’s children books when I was in library school. We had an assignment that required we read and review lots of Caldecott Medal winner and honor books. Keats’ book The Snowy Day won a Caldecott Medal in 1963. The Snowy Day was one of the first American children’s books to feature an African American child as the main character. To learn more about the author and his work, visit the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.