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The Little French Whistle Hardcover – March 12, 2002

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Hardcover, March 12, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When spoiled young Louie clamps his stubborn lips around a whistle his Grand-pire brought from Paris ("WHOUI! WHOUI! WHOUI!") the results are both clamorous and comical. Louie says, "I don't like sweet" and "I don't like soft" and thus antagonizes the birds in the birdbath, the French poodle, Fonfon, and even Grand-pire himself (when the boy plays dissonant notes into the fellow's bath water). Josette, the narrator and Louie's ever-patient cousin, longs for a turn with the instrument. Chollat's (Ackamarackus) renderings of the characters with no necks, blushed, round faces and beady, wide-set eyes adds to the levity of this onomatopoeic tale with French accents. Louie's expressions, as he sends creatures and people alike fleeing, keep the humor running high. Sheba the cat finally puts an end to the mischievous music-making. With a swat and a hiss, as a colorfully lettered "Fuh-whap!" arcs through the scene, the feline sends the whistle flying, and Louie retreats home without his toy. Josette then atones for her cousin's transgressions ("I blew it sweet for the birds: whoui tee whoui.... I whistled it soft for Fonfon"). However, she can't help blowing it like Louie just once, "important, and snappy, and grand!" Chollat's paintings with whistle noises painted boldly across the pages, round out Schaefer's (The Squiggle) attention-grabbing tale. Ages 4-8.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-Josette's cousin Louie comes to visit, and it seems that his whistle, a gift from Grand-pere, only operates in one mode: a very loud "Whoui! Whoui! Whoui!" While Josette thinks this sounds important, others find it annoying. Louie scares away the birds, wakens the dog, startles his grandfather, makes the baby cry, and refuses to let his cousin have a turn. When he sneaks up and blows it loudly at the cat, she swats and hisses, and away the whistle flies. Though Josette offers to help retrieve it, he'd rather just go home. She finds it and explores the full range of its sounds. She blows it sweetly to the birds, softly for the cat, and musically for Grand-pere, who is reminded of the sounds of "Paree." Finally, she blows it loud and snappy like Louie, summoning a taxi to return the whistle to him. Josette is a good-natured, likable child, and is much more understanding of the obnoxious Louie than many readers will be. The brightly colored illustrations convey the emotions of the story. The text, filled with a variety of sounds and several French words, begs to be read aloud. Children will want their own little French whistle to play after hearing this story.
Robin L. Gibson, Perry County District Library, New Lexington, OH
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf; 1st edition (March 12, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375815694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375815690
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,146,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on August 28, 2002
Format: Library Binding
When cousin Louie comes to visit Josette, he brings along his little French whistle that Grand-pere brought back for him from Paris. Josette likes the way it sounds, snappy and important when Louis plays it loudly. And Louis does play loudly. As he tells everyone, "I don't like sweet." "I don't like soft." Unfortunately, no one else likes Louie's shrill blasts, not the birds who fly away, frightened Fonfon, the poodle, baby Roland, who cries, or even Grand-pere, surprised right out of his bubble bath. But Louie finally goes too far when he scares Sheba, the cat. She arches her back, hisses, and swats that little French whistle right out of his hand. Now finally, a very patient Josette has her turn and she likes soft and sweet..... Carole Lexa Schaefer's simple and humorous text begs to be read aloud, and is peppered with marvelous sound effects and charming french colloquialisms. Emilie Chollat's illustrations dazzle with bright colors, bold and busy patterns, engaging facial expressions, and entertaining details. Perfect for youngsters 3-7, The Little French Whistle is a delightful, fun-filled read little ones will enjoy again and again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Margaux Paschke VINE VOICE on June 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
All about a spoiled kid who comes for a visit. Author writes a wonderfully lyrical story that provides fun for both the reader and listener. I especially liked the lesson to be learned of manners that manages to be imparted in such a fun way for kids.
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