THE WHISPER by Pamela Zagarenski
Kirkus Star

THE WHISPER

Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A “magical book” on loan from her teacher loses its words on the trip home, so a little girl spins her own stories for each enchanting picture.

Seeing the letters tumble from the binding, a fox encourages her, whispering, “Remember: beginnings, middles, and ends of stories can always be changed and imagined differently.” Readers join in, captivated by a series of spellbinding illustrations whose strangeness, recurring imagery (crowns, rabbits, wheels, bees, honeycombs, stars, suns, moons, teacups), expansiveness, and downright beauty beg for unbridled storytelling. The little girl sits crouched in the lower corner of each page, chin in hand, her eyes scanning the very same spreads that dazzle readers. A conversation emerges, in which the girl and readers volley narration, with increasing confidence and intensifying specificity. The girl submits, "As instructed, we arrived at exactly 3:33. One four-leaf clover and a large pot of hot, steeping tea had been purposely placed near the entrance of the woods," and then trails off with ellipses....Readers’ cerebral wheels will continue to spin, providing a resolution of their own—perhaps aloud to a caregiver or maybe just inside their own heads.

Surreal, staggering mixed-media paintings make traveling across such beautifully varied and bizarre storyscapes exhilarating. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-544-41686-4
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: HMH Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2015




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