Willow’s Whispers is a rare book in that the author Lana Button puts the “message” front and center, for real kids, with real experiences. Button stays away from hidden euphemisms and agenda pushing. The book is about a little girl named Willow who speaks so softly that her words come out in whispers, no one, other than her dad can hear what she says. We see Willow constantly unheard and overlooked in many scenarios at school. Kristabelle, the presumed “popular” girl takes advantage of Willow’s soft-spoken and shy demeanor, but don’t worry creativity and a little light engineering of a make-shift microphone gives Willow the courage to speak up for what she wants.
Other than the character of Kristabelle I really like this book. What I don’t like about Kristabelle is that she seems overly stereotyped into her character– blonde, aloof and so intentionally mean, “‘Excuse me?’ Sneered Kristabelle.” While all of the other characters in the book participate in ignoring Willow, none of them are painted as doing so intentionally–who’s to say Kristabelle was intentionally taking advantage?
If you have a shy child, or if you fear your kid is acting the part of Kristabelle, read this book, give your kids something real to relate to.