By Almira Astudillo Gilles
Illustrated by Carl Angel
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.
Check out the lesson plan for Willie Wins by New York City educator Mary Tomac as part of “Choosing and Using Culturally Responsive Texts,” created by the Teachers College Inclusive Classrooms Project (TCICP).
Check out Willie Wins in the Building Classroom Community in Second Grade unit and collection.
About the Creators
writes fiction, poetry, plays, and essays for children, young adults, and adults. A native of the Philippines, she came to the United States for graduate study. Willie Wins was Gilles' first book for young readers. She lives in Palatine, Illinois, with her husband and thier children.
is an artist, illustrator, and graphic designer whose work has been exhibited throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Hawai'i. A Filipino American who grew up in Honolulu, Carl lives in San Leandro, California. He is the illustrator of several books, including Willie Wins, Lakas and the Manilatown Fish, and Lakas and the Makibaka Hotel.