Whisper Whisper Jesse, Whisper Whisper Josh: A Story about AIDS

Whisper Whisper Jesse, Whisper Whisper Josh: A Story about AIDS

by Eileen Pollack, Kristine H. Templeman, Bruce Gilfoy, Advantage-Aurora Pubns. Staff

Editorial Reviews

Stephanie Zvirin
Written in the innocent voice of a young child, this compassionate picture book about AIDS imparts not only an age-appropriate view of the medical facts, but also a keen sense of the loss that comes with the death of a loved one. Jesse's uncle Josh, whom the boy has never met before, has come to stay with the family. The two become great friends, but soon Josh's health begins to fail and their closeness is tested: Josh, whose pain makes him grouchy and sharp, becomes too ill to play games with Jesse, and Jesse fears that nasty cousin Shirley is right when she says that you can catch AIDS just by touching. Jesse's mother easily allays Jesse's fears about catching AIDS, but she can't quiet his pain when Josh finally dies. There's some subtext that may need explaining: Pollack doesn't reveal why Jesse's father is angry at Josh or what Shirley means when she accuses Josh of being a "bad man." But the genuineness of the relationship between the boy and the man and the way Jesse deals with his grief when his good friend dies will leave an indelible mark on the reader. Gilfoy's marvelous sepia pencil drawings, mostly emotion-filled portraits of Jesse, beautifully convey the anguish and emotion of Pollack's telling. A memorable, compassionate story about difficult subjects that adults and children should share and discuss. Unfortunately, the binding will definitely need reinforcement.

Product Details

Advantage/Aurora Publications
Publication date:
Age Range:
4 - 6 Years

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