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


Genre: Picture BookAudience: K-3Topic: WhistlingTheme: Never give up, even when things are challengingCurricular Uses: Read aloud, independent readingReading Level: Early Readers Literary Elements: Alliteration, repetition Illustrations: BEAUTIFUL! So creatively done. Love the way Keats shows Peter spinning by knocking out the lights in the stoplight. Simply done, but captures the tone of the story. Additional Comments: This is a great book to read aloud to primary grades. Sends the message: "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." Many young children will be able to relate to the concepts in this story (can't whistle, snap, blow a bubble).

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.


In my thinking, this companion book to the classic Caldecott Medal-winning A Snowy Day is even a little bit better than its predecessor. The charm of the young boy Peter finds its prime venue in these pages as he walks along the streets of his neighborhood, trying to learn how to whistle. He wants to get the trick down so that he can call to his dog Willie, and then watch Willie wondering who it could be that's whistling for him. Peter finds that learning to whistle is a tough task, to be sure, but when he finally gets it down right he knows that the effort was all worth the final result. This is a fun book. I especially liked the act that Peter puts on for his mother, pretending to be his father come home from work early, even wearing his father's hat. It's a funny and charming moment that will bring forth a smile from just about anyone. I would give one and a half stars to Whistle for Willie.


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.

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.

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.


I adore Ezra Jack Keats. I love his illustration style (collage), I think his sense of composition is flawless, and the stories are great--they're stories without being preachy about something. They're stories about being a kid, from a kid's point of view. They show without telling. I love them. And this one is sweet. About the persistence that children can have about certain things.

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.


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.

Lori Nii-amassah

The storyline of “Whistle For Willie” is delightful. It shows persistence and that one should not give up when they can’t do something right away. Children would easily follow along. The colorful illustrations are equally enjoyable.To extend this book you could take the children out for a nature walk and ask them to explore the ground for a long, thick piece of grass. After finding one, show them how to use it in their hands to make a whistle sound.

Olivia Lavelle

Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats is another nice book. The pictures really enhanced the overall story. Before reading this book I looked at the title and thought this book was going to be about a young boy who lost his dog. As I opened the book to the title page there was the dog alone walking the street. So those factors made me realize "Oh the dog is roaming around while his owner Willie is trying to whistle the dog home." Well I was completely wrong, Willie actually wanted to learn how to whistle, because he noticed that a stranger could whistle and the dog would instantly listen. The pictures looked as if they were drawn by a 6th grader. The text in this book was not the main focus of this story, because they were placed in the corners while the pictures bled the whole page. I like this book because it will teach most kids a positive lesson. Don't give up on something you cannot do at the moment, because once you keep trying you will learn.


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.


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.

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..

Comfort Olajide

I read this book and it is about the little boy, Peter would like to whistle to call his dog Willie but try very hard but couldn't figure out how to do it. Peter sees other children whistling for their dogs. He tried to whistle in varities of ways between spinning, hiding in boxes, coloring with chalks, pretending to be his father, walking the cracks in the side walks but failed. After many attempts he finally whistle for his dog Willie. Peter was so happy to whistle. He showed his parents he can whistle. When his parents sent him to buy some grocery for them he whistle to and from the grocery store. The book teaches children to be persitent in whatever they do. Practice makes perfect. The book is very colorful. I will add this book to my shelf.Learning Experience: Auditory prop: I will discuss whistling is an auditory prop and how one can make sound with mouth and teach children how to whistle by pursing their lips into a tiny O shape, leaving a small opening for air, then by placing the tip of their tongue behind the bottom teeth or against the inside bottom gums and then gently expel air through the mouth. I will then ask them to adjust their tongue position and the small O opening formed by their lips until they hear a note. Once they can sound one note, then they can experiment with their tongue position and the strength of their breath to produce different notes. They can continue to practice until they can whistle perfectly.Vocabularies: I will teach the children vocabularies such as up, down, around, between, under, stop.

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