Book Review: Willow's Whispers

Author: Lana Button
Illustrator: Tania Howells
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Activities: Storytime Suggestions 
Interest Level: Ages 4-8

From the Book Jacket: Willows words came out in whispers. They were just too tiny to hear. Willow's voice, soft and shy as a secret, goes unheard by everyone at school and causes her no ends of troubles. Having to drink orange juice at snack time when she had asked so nicely for apple is just one disappointment.

After a night of wishing, thinking and planning for a way to make louder words, Willow wakes the next morning with the perfect idea: a magic microphone! But although she fashions it from the sturdiest recyclables, her beglittered invention doesn't last the school day. Will Willow find another way to make herself heard?

Why It's On My Bookshelf: I get a lot of requests from parents, teachers, blog followers etc asking for book suggestions to help kids overcome shyness. There's not a lot of good ones out there on the topic. But there is a really GREAT one out there.....Willow's Whispers. This was a discovery a couple of months ago. As I started to read the first pages, it almost seemed too good to be true - because I love the way it's written from beginning to end.

This was a powerful read for the shy kids and even the ones who are not. First of all, the shy kids got to hear DIRECTLY from me in the most validating way through Willow's story. I introduced the words...fears, confidence, inner strength, brave.....oh the list goes on. Also, it's okay to be shy. But when can our shyness get in the way of our own happiness and become a problem? This is what happens to Willow....she is misheard, gets bullied, has trouble making friends, and misses out on classroom opportunities. We quickly figured out her shyness was getting in the way. Good Stuff! And a wonderful way to introduce strategies for kids to practice.

For those kids who are not shy it was a good lesson in sensitivity and to be supportive to those children who do feel shy at times. Reach out to them, have understanding, and try to help them feel comfortable. I cannot wait to read this one again next year. This is always a sign of how much I adore a new book. My recommendation list just got a lot stronger in the shy department.

A Link to This Book:


  1. this does look great - thanks!

  2. Thanks for this review. And thanks for you absolutely WONDERFUL blog! You're doing great work, sharing your fantastic book finds in helping adults help kids! Keep up the great work!

  3. This book looks great! But, I could put that comment on every post.

    I have just recently discovered your blog and I LOVE IT!! Thanks so much for doing it and putting in the time to help other teachers and counselors. I am making a loooooonng list of books I want! :)