Mahy’s lively prose coupled with Bishop’s vibrant illustration are a brilliant combination. A book to treasure.


Mister Whistler

Mister Whistler loses his train ticket at the station. Thanks to some beautiful dance moves, he might still make the train…

Available as an ebook wherever you buy your ebooks

  • Description

    Absentminded Mister Whistler always has a song in his head and a dance in his feet. But in a rush to catch the train, he is so distracted he loses his ticket.

    Is it in the bottom pockets of his big coat or the top pockets of his jacket? Perhaps he slipped it into his waistcoat…

    Where is Mister Whistler’s ticket?

    Thanks to some beautiful dance moves, he might just make the train.

  • Book Details

    Country of Origin New Zealand
    Reader Age 2-5 year
    Book Size

  • Reviews

    1. Bridges to Understanding Vol.5 (US), February 2014

      Absent-minded Mister Whistler wakes up with a song in his head and a dance in his feet… Energetic ink and watercolor drawings and flowing musical notes reveal a happy, hilarious ending.

    2. Kids’ Book Review, January 2014

      This is a fun, endearing and beautifully composed book by two stars of the children’s book world… Their skill and attention to detail is evident in every page. A whimsical, light-hearted read that’s guaranteed to engage younger readers and put a smile on your face too.

    3. Swings and Roundabouts, September 2013

      The children enjoyed the funny things Mr Whistler did and his sense of humour… It is a funny, true-to-life experience with a lot of humour.

    4. Playcentre Journal, June 2013

      This simple, unpredictable and fun story appeals to children and adults alike, with beautiful illustration, interesting language and the delight of being in on the joke of where absent-minded Mr Whistler’s ticket can be found… A book to treasure.

    5. Horn Book Magazine (US), May 2013

      This dressing, undressing, and dressing-again story by the late Margaret Mahy is a vivacious display of her perfect timing and picture book plotting… A sense of relaxed looniness and sweeping movement prevails, along with a happy confidence in the joy of dance.

    6. The Australian, July 2013

      This lively, cheerful book is the last published work by much loved New Zealand children’s author Margaret Mahy, who died 12 months ago. It is handsomely illustrated by her compatriot Gavin Bishop.

    7. National Library’s Create Readers Blog, June 2013

      This book is a romping, rhythmic read-aloud for all ages, including adults. Gavin Bishop’s illustrations enhance the humour of the relentlessly cheerful Mister Whistler`s adventurous attempt to catch a train… Beautifully produced as always by the excellent Gecko Press, Mr Whistler will be a strong contender for every award open to it, and is a worthy addition to the literary legacy of our beloved Margaret Mahy.

    8. Judges Report, New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards, July 2013

      Mister Whistler contains many of the distinctly Mahy elements that have made her books for children internationally recognised and, more importantly, beloved in households throughout New Zealand for many, many years…. A substantial element in the picture book’s success is Gavin Bishop’s illustrations. His ability to convey a sense of movement on the one dimensional page is pure magic.

    9. Page & Blackmore Booksellers Newsletter, December 2012

      An entertaining tale with colourful illustrations. Sure to delight young and old alike!

    10. The Guardian, Kirsten, Isaac and Hazel (3 year-old twins), July 2013

      This is a fun story, with vivid and unusual pictures and an engaging character. We love it!

    11. Beatrice (5), Page and Blackmore Booksellers Newsletter, June 2013

      The artist is a very good artist and the book is very funny. I also like the details in the pictures. I like how they did the story and how they show you what Mr Whistler does and how he dances all the time. I like the book a lot.

    12. Magpies, November 2012

      One of Margaret Mahy’s last books is this absolutely gorgeous Mister Whistler. Teamed with the masterful illustrator, Gavin Bishop, Gecko Press has created another winning read.

    13. Courier Mail (Australia), February 2013

      The message in this fun book is about focusing on the task at hand and realising that sometimes what we seek is right in front of us. The graphics will remind older readers of a bygone era but there’s enough colour and movement to keep busy three-year-olds entertained too.

    14. Carousel (UK), March 2013

      Gavin Bishop fleshes out the character of this eccentric gentleman, from his elegant spotted underpants to his big green coat, while Margaret Mahy adds the lyrical commentary to accompany his musical antics.

    15. Lauren Fisher (age 6), Junior Journal, April 2013

      It’s a funny story. Mister Whistler is a nice, smart, musical man – he would be fun to know!

    16. Kirkus Reviews (US), February 2013

      This sprightly, whimsical tale will induce plenty of giggles and start toes to tapping…This romp fits in beautifully with Mahy’s other wacky picture books.

    17. The Children’s Bookshop School & Library Newsletter, Term 4 2012

      This is one of Mahy’s last stories but it shows how her brilliant imagination remained to the last. Fellow Cantabrian Gavin Bishop adds vivacious movement-filled illustrations, giving the book a timeless look.

    18. Bookrapt, October 2012

      Mahy’s lively prose coupled with Bishop’s vibrant illustration are a brilliant combination. This large-size hardback publication, complete with dust-jacket, celebrates the creativity of a talented duo.
      A book to treasure.

    19. Tomorrow’s Schools Today, October 2012

      Mr Whistler has all the hallmarks of the whimsy, nonsensical and fun tales that Mahy was known for. Bishop has obviously put his heart into the artwork to create images that reflect Mahy’s style and colourful characters, making this a book to be treasured.

    20. John McIntyre (on National Radio), October 2012

      I talked to Gavin recently about the magic of Margaret’s story-telling and about where this book fits in that vast array of work she has done, and we both agree that she is very good at books that are silly and appeals greatly to children on that level…The illustrations too are fun. Pen and ink drawings with a delightful sense of movement and rhythm to them, and with a 1950s nostalgia. Men in tweed jackets and pearls. If this is Margaret’s last book it is a fine finale.


      Even when all seems well, there’s another humorous twist. A lovely story.

    22., October 2012

      Fabulous. Definitely one for the permanent collection and a great reminder of Mahy at her best.

    23. Herald on Sunday, October 2012

      One of Mahy’s last books, Mister Whistler is typical of one of her flights of fancy.

    24. My Best Friends are Books blog, October 2012

      An absolutely beautiful book that will be treasured by children and adults alike. Mister Whistler is my favourite New Zealand picture book of the year… 5 out of 5 stars.

Available worldwide from your local bookstore or online.

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