Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Whisper by Pamela Zagarenski

"There once was a little girl who loved stories. She loved how words and pictures took her to new and secret places that existed in a world all her own. The characters became her friends, and quite often she grew to love them."

The Whisper is a very special book which appears on so many book lists since it was published in 2015. A little girl borrows a book from her teacher but on the way home the words all spill out. Luckily they are caught in a net by a fox.

When the little girl sits down to enjoy her book she is so disappointed to find there are no words but then she hears a whisper.

"You can imagine the words.
You can imagine the stories. ...
There are never any rules, rights, or wrongs in imagining - imagining just is."

Each double page spread has a scrumptious illustration and a title.
Blue Bear's visit
The Secret
The Quest
Tiger's Prayer
A birthday party
The magical clock
The golden key

"Hour after hour the little girl imagined an entire story for each page."  And this is something your students or reading companion can do too.  As the little girl returns to school with the book she meets the fox. He returns the words in return for a favour reminiscent of the Aesop Fable The Fox and the Grapes.

You can see a huge selection of the exquisite art work by Pamela Zagarenski here at Seven Impossible Things.  Here is a video of the whole book.  You should also look for Red Sings from the Treetops a very special book of poetry by Joyce Sidman also illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski.

Here are some more reviews
School Library Journal
The Reading Castle

I would pair this magical book with The Mysteries of Harris Burdick and Phileas's fortune : a story about self-expression.

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