The Whisper written and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing 

Summary:  A little girl in a red hood gets to borrow a book her teacher promises is full of wonderful stories.  As she races home with the book, the words leak out the bottom and drift away, until a clever fox catches them in his net.  Arriving at home, the girl is disappointed that the book has only pictures, no stories.  She’s about to abandon it when she hears a whispered voice telling her to use her imagination.  Back she goes to the first illustration, trying to imagine what the story would be.  Her stories grow more creative and complex with each page, until she falls asleep.  In the morning, she rushes back to tell her teacher how much she loved the book, helping the clever fox reach some grapes along the way.  Grades K-3.

Pros:  This book reminded me of one of my favorite elementary school creative writing exercises, where the teacher would post a picture and we’d have to write a story about it.  The sumptuous illustrations could inspire endless stories.  This would also make a great introduction to wordless picture books and how to make up your own stories.  Look for the fox’s appearance on every page.

Cons:  Kids may need some help appreciating this book, which doesn’t have the conventional story arc.

2 thoughts on “The Whisper written and illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski

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