Book review: The Whisper; 4 out of 5 stars #bookaday

The Whisper book coverby Pamela Zagarenski
Picture book
Interest level: K-8
Reading level: 4.0
4 out of 5 stars

This is a really different book. It combines realistic and fantastical fiction elements together to form a beautiful story.

First, it features a very realistic story about a young girl who is stymied when she comes across a book that has no words, until she hears a voice whisper to her that she can make up her own stories. This is a dilemma that children sometimes have with creativity. They often get so used to adults telling them stories, or showing them how to do something, that they hesitate to think for themselves.

The fantastical part of the story are the illustrations and stories that the girl makes up as she goes through the wordless book. There is also an overarching story that is subtle and includes a fox and a rabbit. It even includes a twist on the Aesop fable of the fox and the grapes.

You could read this story over and over and find new things each time. I can see many uses for this book in the classroom. You could use this book to introduce wordless picture books to students, to provide story starters for creative writing, to discuss fables, or to examine the beautiful illustrations in an art class.

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