Illustrator: Gavin Bishop
Publisher: Gecko Press USA 2012
Age: 2 – 6 years
Theme: absent-mindedness, forgetfulness,
Opening Line: Mister Whistler woke up kicking his feet in the air. His sheets were twined and tangled around him, and his room was full of echoes. He’d been singing and dancing in his sleep.
Synopsis: Funny man, absentminded Mister Whistler can’t remember where he put his train ticket. He bought it, put it somewhere, can you find it? Not in his jacket pocket, not in his shirt pocket, not even in his trouser pockets. Mister Whistler dances his way out of his clothes in the hope of finding his ticket. But of course we all know where it is – don’t we?
Why I like this: This hilarious, easy read makes it fun for the young to absorb. They will delight in shouting out where the ticket is. Margaret’s cleverly written text has us dancing through the pages and even the older readers, (not to mention a few adults) will connect with this timeless theme. I wondered if Mister Whistler was ever going to stand still, but his dancing proved a blessing in the end. Margaret’s magical talent for quirky characters doing crazy things never fails to raise a laugh. Kids will love it.
Note: Margaret Mahy never got to see the finished product, although she did get to see some of Gavin’s drawings before she passed away, a few weeks before the book was published, here in New Zealand. Writers and readers will miss her humours look at everyday life’s situations. One of the world’s best loved children’s authors, she won many awards including the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award for her contribution to children’s literature. An award winner himself Gavin lives in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Resources: A fun game of memory to play would be lining four plastic cups upside down with a coin hidden under one and by moving them around have the children guess which cup the coin is under.
I found this a fun memory game, http://www.primarygames.com/puzzles/memory.php
You could also have the children write their own story of misplacing an item and how they found it.
Here’s another fun memory games website .. http://www-en.toupty.com/
Edited to add: Here is a Website of NZ Post which display stamps and presentation packs, commemorating Margaret Mahy… http://stamps.nzpost.co.nz/issue/margaret-mahy-1
For more books with resources please head on over and visit the lovely author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books. Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with the books reviewed by many authors.