- Hardcover: 40 pages
- Publisher: HMH Books (1 April 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0544416864
- ISBN-13: 978-0544416864
- Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 0.9 x 27.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 386 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 254,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Whisper Hardcover – 6 Oct 2015
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--School Library Journal, starred review
* "Surreal, staggering mixed-media paintings make traveling across such beautifully varied and bizarre storyscapes exhilarating."
--Kirkus, starred review
"Tiny vignettes of the girl looking at these very images in her own treastured book create the sense that readers are reading it along with her...Zagarenski's artwork is irresistable"
"The fanciful combination of opulent imagery and mysterious detail will have children imagining stories of their own."
--Horn Book Magazine
"[T]he fabulously layered paintings by two-time Caldecott honor winner Zagarenski are so beautifully constructed and lavishly painted -- swirling patterns and honeycombs in the background, winsome creatures in the fore -- that readers can't help but fall for this book."
--The Boston Globe
About the Author
From the Publisher
I do all of my sketch work for my books in my journals. I have lots of ideas. ..some things become 'real' and others don’t. I just play, and I write, and eventually the pieces come together to form something in paint and words.
I will write story ideas. I also write things that happen in my life. On this particular day I wrote about the black widow spider who appeared on my studio window with her egg sack while creating The Whisper. I imagined she had come to inspire me with words, and I named her Emily Bronte. ..(Charlotte-of course was her famous spider sister).
She inspired me with her glass like shiny black and red beauty - mingled with the fear that she simultaneously instilled in my heart just by being who she was - she was a marvelous enigma. And yes, of course I will never know the truth of it all - who can really ever say what is true?
I love to imagine. And maybe just in the act of imagining, one actually makes the stories real. I dedicated this book in part to her, and I imagine she’s proud.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I have just returned from a four-day visit with grandchildren, and took this as a gift to the 4-yr-old, whose preferred amusement is video-based. The first time we read it, he had very little to say, single words only, but began to notice the exquisite detail in the pictures with a little prompting. The second time, at his request the next day, he delightedly pointed them out and had a few sentences. At the end of my visit, on the sixth read, he had developed story lines and explanations for who those figures were, where they were going, and why.
We all know there's nothing like a good snuggle with a warm grandmother or auntie or granpa. This book is more than stories, it's memories.
My daughter is just starting to read simple words on her own, and I think she is feeling intimidated by books right now. They are linear and rigid -- the story is locked in by the words on a page, progressing through a structure she is just starting to realize exists while also having to acknowledge she doesn't yet understand. We read books or tell stories together every night, but she hasn't been nearly as excited about those activities as she was even a few months ago. However, so far, The Whisper has been heartily welcomed. The book emphasizes that, within its pages, no wrong can be done in telling a story, and that every story can be different with each retelling. To my 5 year old at least, who has been challenged by the complexities of the English language, I think that has been very freeing. I could not ask for a better experience in a book.
The story features a girl who loves to read and is loaned a very special book by her teacher. She is so very excited to read it, but her joy turns to frustration when she discovers that the words are all missing. But then a voice whispers that she should create her own stories. She goes back through the book, looking carefully at each of the pictures and creating her own story to go with each. But what is recorded in the actual book is just the beginning -- the set up if you will -- for each of these stories that the girl crafts. This is what I found so disappointing at first -- my daughter was too young to understand that, and it came off as just a bunch of disjointed clippets from stories. But if your kid is ready to imagine their own stories, this book is awesome! And the illustrations are fantastic!!
The book is really beautiful with a mixed-media layout and very other-worldly characters and animals. We love SLEEP LIKE A TIGER, also illustrated by Zagarenski, and the drawings are very similar.
This is a book we'll put away after a while and bring out again as our daughter gets more advanced in her stories and imagination.