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

Kelsey Vayens

Ezra Jack Keats is a phenomenal author, and this book does not disappoint. Using vivid illustrations and simple text, Keats tells the story of a young boy named Peter, who struggles and desires to learn how to whistle so he can whistle for his dog, Willie. Peter struggles and tries really hard until finally he learns to whistle. This book is a perfect circle time book that children can relate to. There are times when we find ourselves struggling to do something we desire to learn how to do. With a lot of practice, however, you can achieve things you put effort on. It can motivate the students to do their best and try their hardest on their dreams and can also be a book that is just a interesting book to get students attentive for the day.

Rebecca Janda

Whistle for Willie is about a boy named Peter who really wishes to whistle for his dog. He hides in a box, but his dog named Willie doesn't come. Peter proceeds with a series of events till he was successful at whistling for Willie. The story ends with Peter and Willie walking home to show his parents.I think this is a great "good read"! This story shows how you should never give up and continue trying to reach any and every goal you may have. This is an incredible valuable lesson children need to learn about early on. Children need to know that they won't be able to do everything perfect or right at first, however, if they preserve they can accomplish anything. Another reason this story is a good read in addition to the story promoting a great message to children it also has bright fun colors, which keeps the reader interested in the book.

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.

Jennifer Bollinger

Rate: 3Review:This book is suitable for young children to read. It teaches young children about whistling and how when you are trying to complete a task you should always stick with until you can do because you should never give up you should always keep trying. Learning Experience: Read the book to the children and then ask the children if they can whistle for the class.


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.


A story about a young boy, Peter, who wishes so badly that he could whistle. If he whistled then he could call his dog, Willie. If Peter could whistle then he could hide and fool Willie because Willie would not know where the whistle sound if coming from. Peter tries and tries but no matter how hard he blows there is no whistling sound coming from his lips. Peter travels around the neighborhood, practicing all the while without any success. Finally, just as Peter scrambles under a box to hide from Willie, a whistle escapes from Peter's lips! Peter can now call Willie with his whistle. This story teaches children to not give up in a way that is easy to relate with, since preschool age children are trying to master their own whistling abilities.

amy boese

Of course I've read this before- growing up with a dachshund named Willie and a children's librarian mother meant we owned this book.Reading it at bedtime last night I was reminded of how many great ideas were included in this small book, capturing both a certain time: who sends their small kid to the grocery store alone these days in the city? And a general sense of childhood: long chalk line, father's old hat, learning an impossible new skill! all so deftly folded up and winningly illustrated.All of this, with characters that resonate with the normal lives of a family that is not the white faces and blond ponytails of Dick and Jane characters. It is a product of the time it was written-not a brilliant reordering of gender roles, but still, for my family's home library, an essential.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Summary: Peter wanted to whistle for his dog to come to him, so he hid in a box to hide, but he couldn't whistle and his dog, Willie, did not come. So Peter walked around town, drew lines on the sidewalk, jumped away from his shadow, and went home and pretended to be his father. He went out again and finally whistled for Willie, who then came to him, even though Peter was hiding. They walked home and showed his parents, whistling to and from the store.Evaluation: This was a cute story with fun, bright colors. I liked the sponge and stamp-art letters in the background of some pages. My favorite part is when Peter is dizzy so the picture is tilted and skewed like it would look if you really were dizzy.


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.

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