This is a book about the joy and delight in reading and imagining. It is a book about creativity and having fun. It is a beautiful book in color, in creation, and in childhood (no matter what age one is!). As I looked upon each double-page I felt a delight in the visual as well as where my mind began to take me.
“There once was a little girl who loved stories. She loved how the words and pictures took her to new and secret places that existed in a world all her own….”
The little girl’s teacher loans her a book. It is a special book to this teacher because her grandmother gave it to her as a gift.
As the little girl heads home, the book is under her arm and is slightly open. The words are escaping from the pages and into the air. We, then, see a fox holding up a net and catching the escaping words. When the little girl gets a chance that night to open the book, she is sadly disappointed to find the book has no words, no stories.
Yet, she continues to look through this book. As she does, she hears the wind and a whisper: “Dear little girl, don’t be disappointed. You can imagine the words. You can imagine the stories. Start with a few simple words and imagine from there. Remember: beginnings, middles, and ends of stories can always be changed and imagined differently. There are never any rules, rights, or wrongs in imaginings–imagining just is.”
She looks carefully at each double page picture and imagines what story it could be telling. She starts slowly with a few words, the beginnings. For each reader, the story is his or hers to imagine because each double page has a beginning, leaving an unfinished sentence such as, “He promised…” or “Last week…” or “Tiger had something important to say….” Along with these unfinished sentences, the reader will find the word-catching fox and a rabbit, bees with a honeycomb, a crown, art all over and around each set of pages.
The art inspires one’s creative juices to flow. As I read the beginnings of the little girl’s stories, I thought that one could use this beautiful book in so many luscious ways. Of course, each beginning initiates a story. Then, I would love to sit with a child without reading those beginnings and let the child tell me a story. Or she/he could write a story by visually feasting upon the art. Most children today are so electronically connected that their imaginations can often be like a well run dry. This book could easily be used as a tool to spark that creativity, that imagination. Let us use books such as this one to fill those wells back up to full.
I felt so inspired myself. I found the book in our public library and will surely want to own a copy to use with the children I tutor as I did during the Spring semester with a second grade girl.
Age Range: 4 – 7 Years (and older)
Pamela Zagarenski is so creative. She loves to draw and paint and has been using these creative outlets as long as she can remember. She uses the natural world and her vivid imagination for her ideas. She says, “I do all of my sketch work for my books in my journals. I have lots of ideas. ..some things become ‘real’ and others don’t. I just play, and I write, and eventually the pieces come together to form something in paint and words.”
The Whisper is her first book as both the illustrator and the author. Prior to this, her art has won Caldecott Honors Awards for Sleep Like A Tiger by Mary Logue–CALDECOTT HONOR 2013 and Red Sings From Treetops: A Year in Colors by Joyce Sidman–CALDECOTT HONOR 2010
You can find her art @ http://www.pzagarenski.com/Home.html
She has a Twitter account as well @ https://twitter.com/Sacredbeez
- ISBN-13: 9780544416864
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Publication date: 10/06/2015
- Pages: 40
- Product dimensions: 8.70(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.40(d)