Little Whistle by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Tim Bowers

Little Whistle is a small brown guinea pig who lives in a toy shop called Toytown. He sleeps all day because at night he has adventures visiting all of his friends (the toys) in the shop. On his very first night in the shop, he meet s a sailor who lets him borrow his pea coat, which Little Whistle wears every night thereafter – it gets cold in the shop! He also makes friends with some of the other toys – Lion, Rabbit, Bear, and Violet, to name a few. Even though friends come and go, Little Whistle is happy (and the toys are, too), because his friends are being sold to children who “care for them.” Little Whistle is just about the cutest guinea pig ever – he’s plump with round beady eyes and a cheerful disposition (Tim Bowers has captured the little grin and bright spirit that all guinea pigs seem to possess). In his pea coat, Little Whistle looks rather patrician (and a bit like Paddington Bear), as he makes his rounds of the shop. This is a gentle, reassuring, imaginative story.

Picture book * * * Stars Reviewed by Karin Thogersen, YA Librarian

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