Whistling for Angela cover

By Robin Heald & Peggy Collins

Whistling for Angela

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.

Available In


Ages 5-8
ISBN: 978-1-77278-245-5
List Price: $22.95 CAD / $18.95 USD
Hardback with reinforced binding & with printed dust jacket
Trim Size: 9.50 x 11.00 inches / 24.13 x 27.94cm
Pages: 40

Publication date: May 17, 2022

Distributed in Canada by University of Toronto Press

Distributed in the U.S. by Ingram Publisher Services

Carton Quantity: 30

About this book


Praise for Whistling for Angela

2022 CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens Selection

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

Look inside gallery

Additional Resources

Teaching Guide

Back to top