Bartleby Speaks! by Cruise, Kevin Hawkes |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Bartleby Speaks!
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Bartleby Speaks!

by Cruise, Kevin Hawkes
     
 

Bartleby Huddle is a sweet, happy child. He gurgles and coos, giggles and laughs, but he hasn’t said a single word—not baby, not peekaboo, not even MINE! The rest of the noisy Huddles— Mama, Papa, and big sister Isadora—outdo themselves trying to make Bartleby say . . . something! It’s only wise Grampy Huddle who

Overview

Bartleby Huddle is a sweet, happy child. He gurgles and coos, giggles and laughs, but he hasn’t said a single word—not baby, not peekaboo, not even MINE! The rest of the noisy Huddles— Mama, Papa, and big sister Isadora—outdo themselves trying to make Bartleby say . . . something! It’s only wise Grampy Huddle who understands that Bartleby will speak in his own good time. And when he does speak, they’d better listen!

Exuberant art perfectly captures the hilarious antics of this boisterous family as it learns a lesson from its youngest member and discovers the joys that can be experienced by the simple act of listening.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The whole family will enjoy this one and it's a great story for bedtime.”The News & Observer

Hawkes’s energetic illustrations will elicit smiles, especially at the notable resemblance between Bartleby’s ears and his grandfather’s. The characters’ expressive eyes, including the dog’s, add to the humor. Youngsters will wait with great anticipation for the hilarious conclusion and ask for repeated readings.” —Starred, School Library Journal

“Hawkes’s (The Road to Oz) clear, sunny watercolors lift the story to pleasing heights” —Publishers Weekly

“Through a blend of text and clever, energetic illustrations that goes beyond the words, Cruise and Hawkes let readers know that there’s more than one way to communicate.” —Booklist

“Hawkes accompanies Cruise’s gently pointed text with characteristically comic line-and-color cartoons, varying vignettes with full- and double-page spreads that focus readers’ attention exactly where it needs to be, modulating noise and silence through artful pacing.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Riotous illustrations.” The Horn Book

Publishers Weekly
Bartleby Huddle, a winsome three-year-old with jug-handle ears, is the joy of his opera-singing mother, his cello-playing father, his tap-dancing sister and their enthusiastic poodle. But he won't talk, no matter how much they clamor to show him how. It's not until Grampy Huddle visits on Bartleby's birthday that the boy's real soul mate is revealed (no coincidence that Grampy has jug-handle ears, too). Out on the porch swing “they listened to the lilacs swish in the breeze. They swung. They held hands... And they didn't say a word.” Hawkes's (The Road to Oz) clear, sunny watercolors lift the story to pleasing heights, like the balloons at Bartleby's birthday party. There, like an oracle, Bartleby speaks at last: “Listen!” is his first word—and his family does, hearing sounds they've never heard before. The story brightens considerably when Cruise (Only You) introduces Grampy. The dual themes—accepting children as they are, and understanding the meaning of silence—could easily compete for readers' attention. Fortunately, in this duo's hands, they appear as a satisfying whole. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Bartleby is a sweet, lovable baby who is soon walking, jumping, and making noises, but his parents and big sister are concerned that he has not spoken a single word. They try many ways to coax him to speak; even Ludwig the dog tries a "Woof!" Bartleby, though, simply smiles and remains silent. On his third birthday, the family prepares a full performance in vain. Grandpa Huddle declares that Bartleby will speak when he has something to say. Then Grandpa takes him out on the porch swing, remaining quiet until it is time for the birthday cake. Bartleby blows out the candles and says one word: "Listen." They all are finally quiet and do, hearing the sounds of the world around them. Then Bartleby adds, "Good cake!" Hawkes introduces his characters on the jacket, all performing with open mouths except our hero, tight-lipped, listening. A nervous black line creates both characters and settings, and even occasional sound effects. Color used naturalistically adds interest. The many vignettes showing Bartleby growing up just fine, however silently, build to the ultimate vocalization. Along with the humor of the story, there is a lesson on leaving kids to grow at their own speed. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 1—Like most toddlers, Bartleby enjoys playing patty-cake, crawling, and jumping. But he doesn't say a single word. His mother sings loudly in pig Latin, his father plays the cello at bedtime, and his sister shrieks as she tap dances around him. Still, he doesn't talk. On his third birthday, after he enjoys sitting quietly on the porch swing with Grampy as they listen to and enjoy nature together, things change. Finally, Bartleby has something to say. Hawkes's energetic illustrations will elicit smiles, especially at the notable resemblance between Bartleby's ears and his grandfather's. The characters' expressive eyes, including the dog's, add to the humor. Youngsters will wait with great anticipation for the hilarious conclusion and ask for repeated readings.—Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Wee toddler Bartleby is almost as inscrutable as his Melvillean namesake, though a sight more cooperative. He gurgles and coos, chortles and clucks-he just doesn't speak. The distress of the rest of the Huddle family is cacophonous: Mama sings opera, Papa plays the cello, big sister Isadora tap-dances and even poodle Ludwig barks-all complete with loud-looking sound effects-hoping to inspire the jug-eared boy to join in the family conversation. He smiles and says not a word, though, till his third birthday, when his equally jug-eared Grampy takes Bartleby out to the porch for some mutual quiet time. When the boy blows out the candles on his cake, he speaks his wish: "Listen." Hawkes accompanies Cruise's gently pointed text with characteristically comic line-and-color cartoons, varying vignettes with full- and double-page spreads that focus readers' attention exactly where it needs to be, modulating noise and silence through artful pacing. A sweetly underscored paean to the beauty of quiet. (Picture book. 5-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374305147
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
08/04/2009
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.28(w) x 10.28(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

ROBIN CRUISE’s noteworthy books include Little Mamá Forgets, a Booklist Editors’ Choice. She lives in Kirkland, Washington. KEVIN HAWKES’s many award-winning picture books include Granite Baby by Lynne Bertrand, selected a Booklist Editors’ Choice and a Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Book. He lives in Gorham, Maine.

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