Friday, August 17, 2007

Whistle for Willie

Whistle For Willie
by Ezra Jack Keats/ published 1964 by The Viking Press

I love everything this guy touched. Every time I find a new one of his (particularly all the delightful Peter stories) my kid and I can't get enough. Snowy Day I think has to be one of the top five children's books ever, and this one has that same sentiment. Just a simple story, with a short narrative, yet leaving so much up to the imagination. Funny too that my whole life I thought this guy was black, but according to his Web site he was from Polish/Jewish decent.

First he walked along a crack in the sidewalk.
Then he tried to run away from his shadow.
He jumped off his shadow. But when he landed they were together again.

So many little things happen in this book. Peter spins round and round. Peter draws a line of the sidewalk. Peter wears his father's hat. Just exactly the way days unfold for kids who are not too consumed with TV and activities. Those days when we all used to be able to spend all day away from home, without parents batting an eyelash.

His site also states that he wrote and illustrated some 85 books. I've only seen about five of them, so it looks as if the surprises will be infinite.

Also by:
In a Spring Garden
Maggie and the Pirate
How To Be A Nature Detective


  1. I'm excited about this giveaway! I know it's probably a crime, but we don't have any Ezra Jack Keats in our home library...yet. Thanks for the chance to win!

  2. I just found this blog and collect children's book, but haven't ever come across this author. I would love a chance to check him out and share this story with my son. :)