Whistle For Willie (Live Oak Readalong)

ISBN: 1595191097
ISBN 13: 9781595191090
By: Ezra Jack Keats Linda Terheyden

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Children Children's Children's Books Childrens Childrens Books Fiction Kids Picture Book Picture Books To Read

About this book

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.

Reader's Thoughts

Kevin Salazar

I enjoyed this book very much because of the meaning and message that I took from it. Peter, a recurring character in most of Ezra Jack Keats' books is trying to get his Willie's attention, his dog. He does this because he sees his dad do it. I feel that is how most elementary school aged boys are, they jsut want to follow in their dad's footsteps and be just like them. I feel like that is what the author's purpose was for this book, was to show the positive male role models that young boys need in their lives. I would use this book fro first or second graders, it appeals to them because elementary school children like animals and pets and chances are that some of them might have a pet at home and they would like to read books about animals because it is in their interest.

Mandy Couch

I really enjoyed this book. The boy named WIllie wanted to learn to whistle. HE tried and he tried, only to fail at every attempt. Then just like young children do he tried to imitate his parent thinking this would surely earn him the succss of whistling. He walked around and imitated what his father did hoping whistling would follow. To Willie's surprise it didnt happen. But after practicing and practicing he finally accomplished his goal.Activity:After reading this story, we would discusss the importance of giving something your best and everything becomes better with practice. Even though you may become frustrated never give up and keep pushing to a goal. I would have the children I write something that they want to accomplish by the end of the school year and why. Then we would go over these goals and make a notebook that would help document their progression towards this goal and revisit this at the end of the school year. It would include pictures, artwork and writings.

Paula Heller

This is a great encouraging story book for young children who are learning how to do something new for the first time. This book reminds me of the saying, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." The book teaches children how to work hard, that some things take time, and that you need to have patience. If you can dream it, you can do it!Learning Experience Ideas:Teach the children how to whistle or snap their fingers to a beat.

Shannon Moore

Whistle for Willie by Ezra Keats is a good book about being determine to learn a task. I enjoyed this book it was encouraging to read. Peter was determined to learn how to whistle no matter what. He tried and tried but couldn't whistle for his dog Willie.He got himself dizzy by turning around and around still couldn't whistle. he saw Willie coming so he hid in a box and blew and blew but nothing came out.So he went home and drew a line all the way to his door and he walk up to it and tried to whistle but nothing. He put on his father old hat and pretend to be his father and he walk down the street. He seen Willie and scrambled under a carton and he blew and he blew and a real whistle came out. Peter shouted it's me Willie and Willie raced over to Peter and off he went home.He told his parents he can whistle now so his parents was excited for him.His mother sent him and Willie to the store and Peter whistle all the way to the store and home.I would use this book to encourage the students not to give up on a task. Be determined to complete the task no matter what it takes.Encourage the students to dress up in dramatic play area. We would talk about the power of love and how Peter love his dog Willie so much that he wanted to whistle for him.I would read this book in small group.We would talk about dogs the importance of being a dog owner.


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.


I adore the illustrations of Ezra Jack Keats --

Joy Colclasure

This book is one of my favorites and by one of my favorite authors. The pictures in this book have such vibrant colors and are fun. I think that children can really relate to the little boy, Peter, in this story. This book can teach children that if you really want to do something it is possible if you work hard at it and practice like Peter with his whistling. This book can also introduce a new type of dog to the children which is Peter's pet daschund Willy. This is a great book to have on your book shelf!Extension Activity: After reading this book you can give the children a whistling lesson. You can show children step by step how to whistle. THe chidlren can practice this for a little while and you can even offer them to take turns practicing in front of the mirror. You can then encourage the children to keep practicing even when they go home. Allow the children to demonstrate their whistling throughout the next few days.


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.

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. 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.


Whistle For Willie is about a boy who tries very hard to whistle and practices all day trying to learn how, and finally he is able to whistle to his dog. The story is easily read, even by beginner readers and the illustrations go along very well with the story. At one point Willie begins to spin and when he stops and is al dizzy the ground on the page is slanted back and forth and the colored lights of a traffic light are floating off the pole. It was a great visual representation of what Willie was feeling at the time. Not all the illustrations in the book are as perfectly expressive as that but most help to show the action in the story and they are consistently done. Whistle For Willie is a simple book and one that would probably entertain early readers.


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.

Amy Poulin

Peter really wanted to whistle. He heard others whistle to their dogs and watch as the dogs went to them. He tried and tried to whistle but every time he blew nothing would come out. He tried whistling up and down the street but still no sound. Then Peter surprised himself and Willie when he blew and a whistle came out. What a great feeling when he heard the sound of a whistle and Willie turned to Peter.Activities:-Discuss the vocabulary in the story-go over the characters in the story -Study the breed of dog Willie is-learn to make shadows-practicing how to whistle-retell the story with flannel boards pieces or as a play-visit a grocery store-discuss where you think Peter lives-discuss different types of homes:apartments, house, mobile home, etc..

Courtney Dyer

Whistle for Willie is another timeless classic from award winning author Ezra Jack Keats. It is a delight of a story about a boy’s persistence in learning to whistle, starring his beloved main character Peter and his dog Willie.Peter really wished he could whistle. He tried and tried, but nothing came out. After many failed attempts, he turns his attention to other things- spinning around and around, drawing a line with chalk on the sidewalk, and even dressing up in Daddy’s hat. Peter then decides to give it another try. He blew and blew until finally out comes a real whistle!Keats uses a combination of mostly yellow, pink, and orange cut-outs, water color, and collage to illustrate the simple text that is minimal in nature. While his images are also simplistic, they have an essence about them that is able to transport the reader to their own warm day in the city… sometimes less truly is more.Peter is back in this adorable story about a boy who longs to learn how to whistle. It is a perfect read aloud for children ages 4-8 as the story is short and sweet and to the point. I especially love Keats’ use of an African American boy as his main character while not being the main focus of the book. It is just a story that follows the daily adventures of a young city boy who happens to be black. As a teacher, this book lends itself perfectly to teaching making connections. I also highly recommend its inclusion in an author’s study on Ezra Jack Keats or an elementary genre study on realistic fiction.

Laura Metts

Whistle For WillieI felt that the illustrations were great for young children, they are bold and colorful. This book really depicts the mind and behavior of a 4 or 5 year old child. I think that young children would enjoy Willie trying and trying to whistle. This book teaches young children to not give up on something that they wanted to do. It teaches them that some skills develop from practice. Whistle For Willie demonstrate the use of imagination when Willie put on his father's hat and pretended to be his father.Learning Extension:Students will use both words and pictures to understand the story. The teacher can use the story to connect the story to a personal experience. Recall and retell the events of the story and discuss new vocabulary words found within the story. Whirled, scrambled, and errand could possible be new vocabulary for young children.

Kynshasa Mcdaniel

Keats books are a short read. This particular book of his can be used to engage children in trying to whistle. Throughout his books about Peter I often wonder who is supervising this little boyEzra Jack Keats was born Jacob Ezra Katz in Brooklyn, New York on March 11, 1916. He was a mural painter for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) for three years before taking a job as a comic book illustrator. During World War II, he joined the United States Air Corp and was a camouflage pattern designer. After the war, he changed his name to make his Jewish heritage less noticeable. He wrote and/or illustrated more than 85 children's books. The first book he illustrated was Jubilant for Sure by Elizabeth Hubbard Lansing, which was published in 1954. The first book he wrote was My Dog is Lost, which was published in 1960. His other works include Pet Show and The Snowy Day, which won a Caldecott Medal in 1963. He was also awarded the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion for outstanding contributions in the field of children's literature in 1980. He died of a heart attack on May 6, 1983.

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