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WHISTLING by Elizabeth Partridge Kirkus Star


by Elizabeth Partridge & illustrated by Anna Grossnickle Hines

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-06-050235-5
Publisher: Greenwillow

Simply gorgeous illustrations adorn a poetic boy-and-his-dad story. Jake’s Daddy wakes him just before dawn, as he’s curled up in his sleeping bag next to the campfire Daddy’s tending. Jake is not sure he’s ready, but Daddy thinks he is. He tries once (too hard) and once more (too soft) but then Jake is whistling softly as little creatures watch. The birds begin to sing, the last star winks out, and Daddy joins Jake in whistling, as the sun comes up. “We whistled up the sun.” This tender story of a family ritual unfolds to the full-page images from Hines, who makes her pictures in quilts. Every single piece of fabric is perfect, from the hand-painted sky fabrics to the rough-textured plaids of Jake and Daddy’s shirts. Her shapes, forms, and patterns are elegantly chosen and pieced seamlessly to make pictures that richly repay repeated examination. She supplies a fascinating two pages of detailed description as to how she made the illustrations. Children will be entranced by the unaffected sweetness and gentle rhythms of both story and pictures and their magical sense of family love and devotion to the natural world. (Picture book. 4-8)