Without even thinking about it,
Mama Seeton puckered her lips and whistled.
It was not a loud whistle.
Or a fancy whistle.
Just a simple two-note whistle.

When Mama Seeton whistles, her children run home for chocolate cake, hugs, kisses, and shared memories. But as time passes, they travel farther and farther away from the familiar sound. Can mama's whistle be heard all over the world, and bring her children home one more time? .

Newbery Award-winning author Jerry Spinelli's sweet lyrical text and New York Times bestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham's charming illustrations show the timeless love between a mother and her children. .

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2 - When Mama Seeton whistles out the back door, her four children, three boys and a girl, always respond by dashing home for dinner and chocolate cake. But when they grow up and leave town, that whistle can no longer bring them home, and Mama Seeton misses them desperately. One day Papa encourages her to go outside and whistle, hoping the pretense will help, but it doesn't. However, though "no one has ever been able to explain" how it happened, each now-adult child hears the familiar sound and comes home, even from distant places. Now, following her example, Mama Seeton's children call their own offspring with a whistle as well. Mama is based on a neighbor from Spinelli's childhood, and the illustrations, executed in watercolor and ink, feature the cars, bikes, hair styles, clothing, and black-and-white TVs of his boyhood years. An especially effective spread depicting the various exploits of the children all across town conveys the passage of time with a display of all four seasons, beginning with the blossoms of spring on the left and moving across the page to summer greens, autumn colors, and finally, a snow-covered hillside on the right. A wavy pink line swirls throughout the pages connecting mom and children, and alert readers will notice how the kids' childhood interests blossom into their adult pursuits. Author and illustrator notes complete this nostalgic look at the enduring love between a mother and her children.—Marianne Saccardi, Children's Literature Consultant, Greenwich, CT


"A nurturing look at the enduring love between a mother and her children."―School Library Journal


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