The Whistling Tree

For months, Penny’s dreams have been filled with melodious whistling and twinkling lights. Then the mysterious whistling suddenly stops. When Penny goes searching for its source, she unexpectedly discovers her Cherokee roots—and a special gift that has been handed down to her.

Audrey Penn’s lyrically woven tale, richly illustrated by Barbara Leonard Gibson, informs us of how the past and the present are intertwined in our lives. This book will encourage children to explore their own heritage and gain a greater understanding of who they are and where they have come from.


Picture Book | Ages 3 – 7
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-9749303-9-8 | 32 pages | $16.95
Lexile Level: 880 | Guided Reading Level: P | Grade Level: 3-4 |

Meet the Author & Illustrator


Audrey PennAudrey Penn takes her one-woman educational program, the Writing Penn, into schools, libraries, and children’s hospitals where she shapes and refines her story ideas in partnership with kids. She is also highly sought after as a conference keynote speaker by groups of teachers and other professionals who work with children.

Author Website


Barbara L. GibsonAn award-winning illustrator, Barbara Leonard Gibson was a freelance artist in the Baltimore-Washington area for twenty-five years. Originally from New York, and with a degree in Fine Art and Design from Carnegie Mellon University, she worked in many areas including historical illustration, children’s books, and magazines, cartooning, portraiture, wildlife illustration, natural sciences, advertising, fantasy, and science fiction.

All Books by the Author


The Whistling Tree Reviews


“This wonderful book chronicles a young girl’s search for her Cherokee identity. Led by her dreams, she learns valuable lessons about her ancestral relationship to the natural world that sustains all of us. The imagery is powerful and instructive.”
Wilma Mankiller, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, 1985-1995

“This Cherokee story takes a Native American child where every Native American’s spirit wants to be—into the ancestral homeland of belonging. Audrey Penn has captured the dream of longing in every Cherokee heart.”
Martin Brokenleg, Professor of Native American Studies, Augustana College