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.
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Robin L. Gibson, Perry County District Library, New Lexington, OH
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.