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Willow's Whispers Hardcover – Feb 1 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: KIDS CAN PRESS (Feb. 1 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554532809
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554532803
  • Product Dimensions: 26.2 x 1.1 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 408 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #182,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Quill & Quire

Learning to assert yourself is not really about having a big voice, it’s about using the one you have – such is the lesson of Lana Button’s first picture book.

Willow is all too familiar with the problem of being ignored. No one listens to her, because “her words slipped out as soft and shy as a secret.” Friends don’t hear her when she says she’d like to sit beside them. The teacher doesn’t hear her ask for apple juice instead of orange. A pushy student grabs one of the dolls that Willow wants for her doll picnic, and can’t (or won’t) hear Willow’s request to have it back. That same student gets picked to be line leader over Willow simply because she speaks up louder and gets noticed.

With the help of a cardboard microphone, Willow finally finds her voice. She announces her preferences, asserts her rights, and makes everyone at school sit up and take notice. By the time the makeshift microphone gets accidentally crushed at the end of the day, she is ready to speak for herself, clearly and with confidence.

There’s not an ounce of sentimentality in Lana Button’s simple, well-crafted story. It has a familiar repetitive structure that makes it a great read-aloud tale, and Tania Howell’s illustrations are a suitable complement, with bold colours, spare lines, and plain white backgrounds. Shy, quiet kids will take heart at Willow’s small victories.

About the Author

Lana Button works in early childhood education. Her writing has been published in Lady Bug magazine and Today's Parent. Willow's Whispers is Lana's first book for Kids Can Press.

Tania Howells's illustrations have appeared in Chirp and Today's Parent, among other publications. She is the illustrator of Berkeley's Barn Owl Dance and Willow's Whispers. Tania lives in Toronto, Ontario.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Willow is a lovely soft spoken girl with ideas, opinions and dreams. Unfortunately, her quiet voice is often overlooked and, as a result, her teacher and classmates miss hearing her thoughts and choices. For Willow, this means lost opportunities for companionship at lunchtime, orange juice instead of applie juice, disappointment at playtime and standing at the end of the line once again.

Dad has very good advice for Willow. He tells her, "Your big, strong voice got stuck way inside you, Willow. That happens sometimes. But one day your voice will wiggle its way out."

Thinking about Dad's words, gives Willlow an opportunity to devise a plan. The following morning, Willow gathers some materials together and designs her very own magic microphone. Initially, the microphone helps Willow to express herself but before long she must manage without it and does so very successfully.

Willow's Whispers is a charming story that will be enjoyed by boys and girls ages four and up. Note, although Willow's Whispers invites discussion of finding one's voice and having confidence when speaking, it does so very sensitively and without reference to "shyness."

Note: The publisher provided a review copy of Willow's Whispers
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Format: Hardcover
My quiet 4 year old daughter and I love this book. I love the way it is written, and always well up at the bit about how Daddy always knows what Willow is trying to say. So many books claim they can help teach your child to be better in some way, sharing, better manners, being kind, and so many fall short in my opinion. Here is a book that has really resinated with my shy girl. Not that it has brought her out of her shell, but that she realizes that there is a big voice inside her, and she can let it out when she chooses to.
The story holds my daughters attention, and since she sees alot of herself in Willow, she wants to read it every night.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Read it today to my grade one class....they were mesmerized. They loved chiming in when Willow finally found her voice...all smiles!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9cb84444) out of 5 stars 12 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a259e88) out of 5 stars Review from Books That Heal Kids April 5 2011
By Books That Heal Kids - Published on
Format: Hardcover
As an elementary school counselor, I get a lot of requests from parents, teachers, blog followers etc asking for book suggestions to help kids overcome shyness. There's not a lot of good ones out there on the topic. But there is a really GREAT one out there.....Willow's Whispers. This was a discovery a couple of months ago. As I started to read the first pages, it almost seemed too good to be true - because I love the way it's written from beginning to end.

This was a powerful read for the shy kids and even the ones who are not. First of all, the shy kids got to hear DIRECTLY from me in the most validating way through Willow's story. I introduced the words...fears, confidence, inner strength, brave.....oh the list goes on. Also, it's okay to be shy. But when can our shyness get in the way of our own happiness and become a problem? This is what happens to Willow....she is misheard, gets bullied, has trouble making friends, and misses out on classroom opportunities. We quickly figured out her shyness was getting in the way. Good Stuff! And a wonderful way to introduced strategies for kids to practice.

For those kids who are not shy it was a good lesson in sensitivity and to be supportive to those children who do feel shy at times. Reach out to them, have understanding, and try to help them feel comfortable. I cannot wait to read this one again next year. This is always a sign of how much I adore a new book. My recommendation list just got a lot stronger in the shy department.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a259edc) out of 5 stars Great book! July 29 2015
By Holly S. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is awesome! I have a 5 year old who is fairly confident but gets super shy around new people. She's starting Kindy soon so I got her some books that I thought might help. I was looking for something that was in line with current research in psychology on what is actually useful for shyness or insecurities. What I particularly like about this book is it clearly shows that Willow wasn't being excluded because there was anything wrong with her, the kids and teachers just didn't hear her. When she spoke up, she got the positive feedback she wanted. I think it helps reassure shy kids that talking with others isn't so scary after all, nothing really bad is going to happen!
HASH(0x9a25a1d4) out of 5 stars <10-word review: Willow knew what she wanted, but had to find her voice Feb. 6 2010
By M. Talalay - Published on
Format: Hardcover
<10-word review: Willow knew what she wanted, but had to find her voice

Kiwi Magazine Review:

Everyone assumed that Willow agreed because she never complained and she never said a word. But, Willow wanted to be the line leader. She made a magic microphone out of a tp tube and magically finds her voice and speaks up for herself. When the magic microphone breaks, Willow realizes that she could speak up without any magic. The text is well-written and age-appropriate, and the illustrations are whimsical and appealing. Any child who has a little trouble speaking up for him or herself might just find their own voice with the help of this book.
HASH(0x9a25a6f0) out of 5 stars Great book for shy children Feb. 27 2013
By kteacher - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A a teacher, I come across many children who have yet to find their voice. I loved that this story gave Willow the confidence by receiving positive reinforcement through the use of her magic microphone, and then through using her own, assertive voice.
HASH(0x9a259f9c) out of 5 stars Wonderfully done! May 24 2010
By Lisa Barker - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Wonderfully done! Both text and drawing style show what it's like for Willow to whisper and go unnoticed. This book will help your quiet little one find his/her voice. Can't think of a better book to support a child that is struggling with shyness.