Cover image for Little Whistle
Little Whistle
Rylant, Cynthia.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt Brace & Co., 2001.
Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
At night after the shades are drawn, a small guinea pig shares adventures with the toys in Toytown, the toy store where he lives.
Reading Level:
AD 660 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.9 0.5 47330.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.4 2 Quiz: 24653 Guided reading level: I.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Little Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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Toytown looks like any other neighborhood toy store, with stuffed animals, wooden sailors, favorite games, and beautiful dolls on all the shelves. But it's also the place an adorable guinea pig named Little Whistle calls home. And at night in Toytown, when the shades are drawn and Little Whistle is awake, magical things happen. . . .
The first of Little Whistle's delightful nighttime adventures, this sure-to-be-classic from beloved author Cynthia Rylant will make Toytown a place every young reader will want to visit.

Author Notes

Cynthia Rylant was born on June 6, 1954 in Hopewell, Virginia. She attended and received degrees at Morris Harvey College, Marshall University, and Kent State University.

Rylant worked as an English professor and at the children's department of a public library, where she first discovered her love of children's literature.

She has written more than 100 children's books in English and Spanish, including works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her novel Missing May won the 1993 Newbery Medal and A Fine White Dust was a 1987 Newbery Honor book. Rylant wrote A Kindness, Soda Jerk, and A Couple of Kooks and Other Stories, which were named as Best Book for Young Adults. When I was Young in the Mountains and The Relatives Came won the Caldecott Award.

She has many popular picture books series, including Henry and Mudge, Mr. Putter and Tabby and High-Rise Private Eyes. (Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3^-5. This sweet story, reminiscent of an earlier time, introduces Little Whistle, a guinea pig and the only living thing in the toy store. Each night, when the owner goes home, Little Whistle wakes up, puts on his blue peacoat (given to him by a wooden sailor), and begins his evening. He visits with his friends, watches the doll that eats cookies and the stuffed rabbit that runs, and there's always a tea party going on. It would be hard to find illustrations better suited to the text than Bowers'. There's a hint of Norman Rockwell in his expertly executed art, but children will simply enjoy looking at all the toys, which seem so tantalizingly real. The weak link in the book is that nothing really happens. The flap copy indicates this is to be a series, so one hopes that Whistle and the gang will start having a few adventures. Tea parties will take them only so far. --Ilene Cooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

The title character of this inaugural volume in a new series set in Toytown exerts a great deal of visual charm. Like Paddington, Bowers's (Sometimes I Wonder If Poodles Like Noodles) hero sports a blue coat and an irresistible hat, and will likely appeal to any child looking for a furry friend. The story, however, is old-fashioned and a bit staid. Although Little Whistle is a "real" guinea pig who lives in a cage in a toy store, Rylant (Mr. Putter and Tabby) uses the old toys-who-come-alive-at-night scenario to create his companions. Much of the virtually plotless tale serves to introduce characters that will appear in subsequent books: "There was Lion, who loved vanilla cookies.... There was Rabbit, who always wanted to run.... There was Bear, who liked hats," etc. Somewhat treacly observations dot the narrative ("Toytown was the sweetest and kindest place in the world for a small guinea pig to live"; Whistle doesn't mind when his friends are purchased, because he knows that "toys love being sold to children who care for them"), but perhaps the plot will thicken in subsequent episodes. In the meantime, Bowers's illustrations are refreshingly lighthearted and full of character, and his toys hark back to an era of handcrafting and imaginative play. The diminutive Little Whistle will endear himself to readers, whether he is blowing a trumpet or reading a book, and his black, shiny eyes look ever ready for a new adventure. Ages 3-7. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-This first offering in a new series introduces a guinea pig that lives in a toy store. During the day, he sleeps in his cage. At night, however, when Toytown is closed, Little Whistle ventures out and looks for adventure. When no one is around, all of the toys come to life and have a wonderful time. The guinea pig doesn't mind when any of his friends are sold, because he knows that they love to be taken home by children. This book has a nostalgic ambience. In the store, there are dolls having a tea party, marbles, jacks, checkers, stuffed animals, wooden toys, but nothing electronic and certainly no Barbie. The language also has an old-fashioned quality: "-it made a very dashing wardrobe!" The artwork, oil paint on canvas, is outstanding. The use of color and shadow brings the toys to life and the pictures reinforce the old-time feeling. Each toy is unique and expressive and Little Whistle is chubby and cuddly. The story is sweet but rather uneventful.-Marlene Gawron, Orange County Library, Orlando, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.