Lacey Walker loves to talk. Nothing can keep her from talking—not pleadings from her parents, scolding from her teacher, or even being in the school library. But one Monday morning, Lacey wakes up to find that she has lost her voice. While she is upset that she can't talk, whisper, shout, or sing, Lacey finds out many new things as she mopes through her day. The most important thing Lacey finds out is that she actually likes to listen to other people once and a while. Jones' depiction of Lacey's realization is incredibly realistic, because even though she has learned to listen, Lacey still really likes to talk. Watson's illustrations are bright and are a nice accompaniment to the text. This title will serve as a wonderfully succinct addition to homes, libraries, and classrooms where it will reinforce with children the importance of listening to others and balancing the amount that a person talks and listens. Reviewer: Anne Pechnyo
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—At school, Fred the mouse constantly mocks Billy the beaver's wardrobe and accomplishments. When Billy comes to realize that Fred's antics cover up his own insecurities, he stands up to an insult and threatens to stop playing with Fred if he persists. Fearing social exclusion due to Billy's popularity, Fred mends his ways and befriends him. Bell's autumnal palette and large cartoon figures make this title an appropriate read-aloud. When Lacey's incessant chatter is halted by laryngitis, the little owl experiences the benefits of her silence. Homework gets done, she realizes that her buddy tells great jokes, and she actually hears a movie. After her health returns, Lacey still talks a lot, but "listens sometimes," a realistic conclusion. Watson's cartoon animals and very pink cover design should draw in readers who will find Lacey charming, despite her babbling beak. These stories' simplicity allows them to serve as introduction to common challenges.—Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA
Growing up in a small town with no cable (and parents who were teachers), reading was the only thing to do. Since then, Christianne Jones has read about a bazillion books and written more than 50. Christianne works as an editor and lives in Minnesota with her husband and three daughters.