Cover image for The little French whistle
The little French whistle
Schaefer, Carole Lexa.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Knopf, [2002]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Josette's little cousin, Louie, chases animals and frightens a baby with the whistle their grandfather bought him in Paris, as Josette longs for her turn so she can make sweet music.
Reading Level:
AD 540 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.4 0.5 54452.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.1 2 Quiz: 33176 Guided reading level: M.
Added Author:



Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Fact and fiction come together in a magically imagined tale of the composer Anton Dvorák's inspiration for "American Quartet." Transfixed by the birdsong of the little Iowa river town where he and his family are spending the summer, Dvorák seeks out the beautiful song of the scarlet tanager. And as the tanager woos a mate and begins to build a nest, Dvorák writes the bird's music down on everything from paper to shirtsleeves. At the end of one long summer evening, the scarlet tanager hears familiar music from the town's schoolhouse and settles on a branch nearby to listen. Inside, Dvorák and his friends play the first rehearsal of "American Quartet," inspired by the little songbird. Then, while one plays on, the other flies home.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 5-8. When composer Anton Dvorak first hears the Scarlet Tanager, he is charmed by its song. In the days that follow, he plays his violin, listens for the bird, and composes music. Later, he and three companions are playing his new piece when the Scarlet Tanager alights on a tree outside their window and sings along with the violins, viola, and cello. According to the appended author's note, Czech composer Dvorak spent a summer in Iowa, where the song of a Scarlet Tanager inspired the third movement of his American Quartet. Though older readers might find the incident unlikely, children may be charmed by the thought of a bird singing along with the music it had inspired. Defined by bold forms and colors as well as repeated curves, the painterly illustrations are seen to best advantage from a little distance. For larger collections. --Carolyn Phelan

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-4-In the author's terms, "historical fact and imagination are woven together" to describe how the famous Czech composer heard the song of the scarlet tanager while summering in Iowa in 1893 and was inspired to write the third movement of the American Quartet, a string quartet in F major. The story eloquently captures the essence of listening and skillfully demonstrates the patience and dedication Dvor k shows in trying to hear the bird's song and to re-create the melody with musical instruments. As the composer works, the bird is equally busy, finding a mate and building a nest. Gorgeously colored illustrations complement the subject matter. The red bird is always visible, even amid bright blues, greens, and yellows. The artist uses thickly applied oils in vibrant swirls to create van Goghesque paintings that seem to have rhythm and movement of their own. An author's note provides historical background. A stunning addition to any collection.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.