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Listen Listen

Listen Listen

by Phillis Gershator, Alison Jay (Illustrator), Jolanta Starek-Corile (Translator)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Although Gershator (Kallaloo!) and Jay (1 2 3: A Child's First Counting Book; reviewed Sept. 3) aren't entirely in sync in this sound-driven journey through the seasons, it hardly matters, as Jay's magical and occasionally eerie crackle-glaze oil paintings furnish a visual feast. The text is built around a series of rhyming, gentle directives to attune one's ears: "Listen, listen... summer's gone. Good-bye insects, autumn's come.... Honk, honk, geese call. / Swish, swish, leaves fall." But while Jay picks up on some of Gershator's visual cues, her pictures are more about fantastic versions of small-town life: geese flying overhead exude a Hitchcockian menace, and two cats toasting their paws before a winter's fire look so plump and sated that one wonders if maybe dinner consisted of their human owners. It sounds rather bizarre, but the richness and detail of Jay's universe will utterly captivate children. Ultimately, the real journey in this book is less about seasons and sounds than where Jay's imagination takes her and her audience. Ages 4-9. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature
We adventure through the seasons with rhymed suggestions that we �Listen, listen�what�s that sound?� Some sounds are repeated and identified, like the chirp, churr, buzz, and whirr of insects, or the sizzle of the summer sun, or the pitter patter of rain, but the strength of the book is in the illustration. There is a sophistication to the alkyd oil paintings that makes the verbal journey almost superfluous. Jay uses a crackle varnish to give an old-fashioned feeling to detailed scenes of bucolic life, with sculptural trees and roads along rolling hills. People play a minor role along with birds, dogs, and flowers; all are set in engaging images presented in circular or oval frames or freely moving over the white pages. There are four final pages, one per season, of mock quizzes, challenging readers to find a list of objects in each of the seasons in the same setting. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3 In this ode to the seasons, the sights and sounds of a picturesque country village are artfully evoked. Under the summer sun, "Leaves rustle, hammocks sway. Splish, splash, children play." In autumn, "Pumpkins ripen, quick, quick. Apples, corn-pick, pick." During winter, "Crunch, crunch, boots clomp. Grown-ups shovel, children romp./Skaters spin, skiers glide. Zip, zoom, slip, slide." When spring arrives, "Pop, pop, bulbs sprout. Leaves grow, flowers shout." Jay's crackled-varnish paintings have a nostalgic, folk-art quality. The rhyming, onomatopoeic text wraps around the busy scenes, and the words and art together provide a smooth transition between the seasons: "summer's gone" is illustrated with a swarm of insects buzzing off the page. An appended "can you see" game encourages close examination of the changing landscapes. Children will be inspired to "listen, listen" in their own environments.-Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada

Product Details

Mantra Lingua, Ltd.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Polish-language Edition
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

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