The Little French Whistle

The Little French Whistle

by Carole Lexa Schaefer, Emilie Chollat
     
 

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WHOUI! WHOUI! WHOUI! Louie blows on his brand-new whistle from Paree. It sounds important, snappy, and grand to Josette. But it scares the birds from the garden. Fonfon jumps up and yip-yaps away. And baby Roland starts to cry.

“Play it sweet, mon cher,” says Auntie Claire. “Can’t you blow soft?” asks Mama. “Zut

Overview

WHOUI! WHOUI! WHOUI! Louie blows on his brand-new whistle from Paree. It sounds important, snappy, and grand to Josette. But it scares the birds from the garden. Fonfon jumps up and yip-yaps away. And baby Roland starts to cry.

“Play it sweet, mon cher,” says Auntie Claire. “Can’t you blow soft?” asks Mama. “Zut alors!” cries Grand-père. “Non! Non! Non!” yells Louie. When he leaves in a huff without his whistle, Josette finally gets to give it a try. She blows it sweet for the birds: “Whoui. Tee-whoui.” She blows it soft for Fonfon: “Whhoui-ooo-whhouit.” She blows it soft and sweet for Sheba: “Brr-oui. Brr-oui.”

The birds twitter back. Fonfon comes dancing. And Sheba purrs to the music she makes. Then, maybe Josette will call a taxi—WHOUI! WHOUI! WHOUI!—and return
the little French whistle to Louie.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 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 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The shrill metallic sound of "Whoui! Whoui! Whoui" can only mean that Louie has arrived for a visit with his new French whistle. The real French whistle given to Louie by Grand-pere sounds so important that Josette asks to try it, but spoiled little Louie refuses. Josette, still interested, follows Louie around as he tries out his shrill whistle on everyone and everything around him. The "Whoui! Whoui! Whoui" scares off the birds; frightens the dog; startles Grand-pere in the bath; and wakes baby Roland from a nap. Even after everyone begs Louie to try different sounds on his whistle, his response is a repeated, "Non!" After a final tangle with the startled cat, Louie loses his whistle and demands to be taken home. Josette retrieves the instrument and sets out to see what other sounds it can make. She plays it softly and sweetly, loudly with importance, finally makes it warble for Grand-pere. Humorous illustrations in soft washes of color add a bit of silliness to this noisy tale. The sprinkling of French vocabulary and the repetition of the whistle sounds make this a perfect read-aloud story-young readers will be whistling for more. (Picture Book. 4-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375915697
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
03/12/2002
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.34(w) x 10.36(h) x 0.36(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

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