Ezra’s Books

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Whistle for Willie

Viking, 1964

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.

Take a Closer Look

Whistle-spin-190In Whistle for Willie, Peter is a little older than he is in The Snowy Day. He wanders his neighborhood on a summer day, spinning around, playing, drawing a chalk trail on the sidewalk. He decides to learn to whistle so he can call his dog, as he sees an older boy do. Peter tries and tries, but no sound comes out. He puts on his father’s fedora in order to feel more grown-up as he keeps trying to whistle—a wonderful touch to show us that Peter is acquiring skill and status (whistling to master his pet), though in a sweetly childlike way. No wonder some readers consider Whistle for Willie the perfect Keats tale.

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