Friday June 19, 2020

There’s a moment in Ezra Jack Keats’s picture-book Whistle for Willie when Peter, the book’s child protagonist, pretends to be his father. This same Peter elsewhere draws a line in chalk along the sidewalk of his neighborhood. The main action of the book, though, involves Peter’s attempt to whistle to his dog Willie while hidden behind a box. Peter is a playful child. There are hints of the trickster in him. I think of the book as one designed to introduce young readers to forms of play. My own head, meanwhile, looks a bit like “One Beat of Dove’s Wing,” the Paul Whitehead painting on the cover of Tom Fogerty’s 1974 solo album Myopia.

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