“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

Mister Whistler

Mister WhistlerAuthor:  Margaret Mahy

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.



About Diane Tulloch

Known also as the Patientdreamer I am a writer who loves to dream, and is passionate about writing stories for the young so that they may join me in the wonders of adventure in countries and cultures afar, and in special moments to remember.
This entry was posted in Picture book, Picture Book Review, Reading Aloud and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to “Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

  1. hahaha! This sounds like a great book! My favorite game is hide and seek. The kids hide my toy and I get to go find it! I have fun amidst squeals of laughter! It sounds like this book! I will have to check it out! Thanks!

  2. I’ve had “hidden in plain sight” moments of my own. Funny books are great reads.

  3. What a fun and quirky book. I love this story. I don’t know where the ticket is. Thanks for sharing.

    • It is fun and quirky, Pat. Margaret was known for her quirky ways of looking at every day life. Always with lots of laughs. That is why she always wore a pink or rainbow coloured wig whenever she read to children in libraries or at schools. Just to put a bit of fun into it.

  4. Cathy Ballou Mealey says:

    Love Mahy…will have to look for this! 🙂 Rhythm you are TOO funny.

  5. I love everything by Margaret Mahy, but I hadn’t heard of this one. Thanks for the introduction. I like your choice of resources.

    • Thank you for your kind words Joanne. Another Margaret Mahy fan, how cool. This was the last book she wrote and published only a couple of weeks after her death.

  6. I look forward to finding this one – love Mahy and Bishop too!

  7. Catherine Johnson says:

    He sounds just like me lol. Fun book!

    • LOL…. Oh Catherine, I think we have all been there, done that… haha. It’s funny and you will not be able to resist smiling all the way through…lol.

  8. Joannana says:

    I used to love playing the memory game! So glad you reviewed this final fun book from Mahy!

    • Thank you, Joanna. I used to love games like that too. It was a stroke of luck that I happen to come across this particular book in the library. They were still showing a lot of her books on the main display cabinet. Glad you liked it.

  9. This is a great book, Joanna! It’s pretty brand new…but It has the feeling of a vintage book, which I love. Kids love to laugh…and parents will enjoy it as well!

  10. Those illustrations are beautiful! I like the tale of absentmindedness and constant motion. It reminds me of my older son. The only time he’s still is when he’s reading!

  11. *adsentmindedness*

  12. I’m sure I will love this book when I get a chance to read it because I love Margaret Mahy’s books! The title is calling to me!

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