Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 5 to 8
- Grade: k to 3
Daniel is preparing a special gift for his new baby sister, but will it be ready by the time they go to the adoption centre?
To show baby Angela how much she is loved by her new family, Daniel wants to whistle for her like the songbirds he loves so much. But will she smile for him? When they arrive at the adoption center and Daniel still hasn’t got the knack of whistling, it’s Jessie, Angela’s birthmother, who knows just what to do.
Whistling for Angela celebrates the familial bonds formed through the act of adoption. Illustrator Peggy Collins’ heartwarming close-ups of the families’ loving interactions create an intimate atmosphere throughout all the emotions of the day. In her author’s note Robin Heald shares the inspiration for the story, which came directly from her own experiences with adoption. She also explores the increasingly common practice of building connections between all three sides of the adoption triangle: the child, the birth family, and the adoptive family.
About the authors
Robin Heald lives in Ashland, Oregon. Before her 30-year career as a drama teacher and preschool director Robin was a stage manager in regional theaters, and on and off-Broadway. Her previous works include Pat, Roll, Pull and Liberty Saves the Day, and her articles have appeared in Exceptional Parenting Magazine and Children’s Literature in Education. Robin’s picture book Isadora’s Sandálias won the Katherine Paterson Prize for unpublished children’s literature at Hunger Mountain in 2015. Her newest picture book, Whistling for Angela, was inspired by her first-hand experiences with adoption. Robin holds a Master’s of Fine Arts in Writing for Children from Spalding University.
Peggy Collins is a graphic designer and an award-winning children’s book author-illustrator with more than 35 titles to her name, including Harley the Hero, Hungry for Math: Poems to Munch On, In the Snow, and In the Garden. Peggy teaches animation at Loyalist College as well as illustration and drawing at St. Lawrence College. She has also written and illustrated for animated apps teaching math, indigenous history, and education. Peggy lives in Newburgh, Ontario with her two children.
Praise for Whistling for Angela
School Library Journal “Eight Picture Books That Celebrate the Diversity of Motherhood” Feature
2022 The Children’s Book Council “May: Hot Off the Press” feature
2022 The Children’s Book Council “Summer Showcase: Love Makes the World Go Round” Selection
“A first purchase for libraries where books about adoption are in demand.”— School Library Journal
“I think it’s an important story to be told, and it echoes the author’s experience when adopting her own daughter.”— Youth Services Book Review
“This is a great introduction for youngsters to open adoption and the making of a new family.”—San Francisco Book Review
“Whistling for Angela is a perfect story to share with families and in the classroom.”—CM Magazine
“This tender picture presents a unique perspective inspired by true events in the author’s life… its positive tone may inspire conversations with early elementary students about family and adoption.”—Children’s Literature
“Whistling for Angela is a nice picture book for children that was inspired by a true story. An Author’s Note is included at the end of the story about the author’s adoption experiences.”—Metroland Media
“Robin Heald skillfully brings the different stories together in this touching picture book.”— The International Educator
“This is such a sweet story inspired by events the author experienced. It examines both sides of the adoption process, the joy of growing a family and the heartache experienced when these mothers make one of the hardest decisions of their lives. This is a truly touching and necessary story.”—Little Bookworm Club
“A tender, heartwarming beautiful story of love and adoption.”—Imagination Soup
“Peggy Collin’s illustrations are bold and beautiful...The eyes are so full of emotion, adding an unspoken layer to the story and making it standout against all of the other books on the shelves.”—Storytime with Stephanie
“Each adoption situation is different, so it's a good idea to take a look at picture books that address the topic… Add Whistling for Angela to your list of books about adoption…Overall rating 4.5.”—YA Books Central
“A beautiful adoption story…I loved every part of this book.”—Mrs. Book Dragon
“This is an absolutely beautiful story about welcoming a new baby through adoption. It shows how difficult the decision was for the birth mother and how truly loved the new baby is by everyone involved… In her author's note [Robin Heald] shares the inspiration for the story, which came directly from her own experiences with adoption.”—@raisingreaderstobecomeleaders