Willie is having a rough day. He has already struck out in a Little League game, and now he must find a savings bank for a contest at school -- by tomorrow! Dad has just the answer. It's an alkansiya,
Willie is having a rough day. He has already struck out in a Little League game, and now he must find a savings bank for a contest at school -- by tomorrow! Dad has just the answer. It's an alkansiya, a bank made out of a coconut shell from the Philippines, where Dad grew up. He's been saving it for Willie because of a surprise inside, a treasure Dad got when he was a boy.
Willie reluctantly takes the bank to school, knowing he will be teased by his classmates for having such an unusual bank. In the weeks that follow, Willie works hard at saving his play money to win the contest. But as he works he also wonders, what will the surprise in his bank be? Is it really something special?
In this heart-warming story, a boy gets beyond peer pressure and comes to appreciate the depth of his father's love. First-time author Almira Astudillo Gilles teams up with artist Carl Angel to create an inspiring and suspenseful story. Young readers will be cheering for Willie all the way.
"This picture book begins with a scene many kids will recognize. After Willie is publicly humiliated by striking out in the last inning, Dad supports him, describing what it was like playing baseball as a child on the street in the Philippines. But Willie doesn't want to hear Dad's childhood stories. When Willie has to bring a money bank to school, Dad gives him an alkansiya from the Philippines, made from the shell of a coconut, with something special inside from Dad's childhood. When it's time to empty the bank in class, Willie smashes the coconut and finds the treasure. There's a real story here with tension and surprise, and Angel's bright acrylic paintings show the father-son bond close-up as well as the school scenes where the bully makes fun of Willie's coconut bank-until its content is revealed." -BOOKLIST
"A tender but vital tribute to a father's love and a son's faith . . . . An understated pearl of a story...with two affecting characterizations and an exemplary bond of love." -KIRKUS REVIEWS
Almira Astudillo Gilles was born in the Philippines and moved to the United States to pursue her Ph.D. in Social Science. Gilles lives in Palatine, Illinois, with her husband and their two children. WILLIE WINS is her first book for children, and was inspired by her son, who puts up with her stories from the Philippines.
Carl Angel who is Filipino American, grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. Angel is the illustrator of MGA Kuwentong Bayan: Folk Stories from the Philippines, and his art is included in the anthology, Honoring Our Ancestors. He lives in Oakland, California.