Do You Hear What I Hear?, by Helen Borten (May 2016, Flying Eye Books/Nobrow), $17.95, ISBN: 9781909263857
Recommended for ages 4-8
A companion to Ms. Borten’s Do You See What I See?, Do You Hear What I Hear?, also published in 1959, introduces children to the effects different sounds can have on them.
“Loud sounds make can me feel fierce as a lion and as explosive as a firecracker. The sound of the circus fills me with excitement. I hear animals roaring, music blaring, people shouting, hands clapping, peanut shells cracking, and balloons bursting.”
Accompanied by her beautiful artwork, these images have texture that help kids unpack the sensations described in the text. The frenetic atmosphere of the circus is captured in the many lines stabbing the spread; the cords holding up the big top and the trapeze wires; the motion of the swinging trapeze artist and the balloons, and the animals walking across the pages.
Originally published in 1959, Mr. Borten’s beautiful, vintage artwork adds texture to the basics: lines, color, and shape, whether it’s by adding swirls to an ocean full of fish or wispy, thin spider webs above the thick bars of a lion’s cage. Ms. Borten artwork and evocative text inspires children to see the world around them “as a great big painting, full of lines and shapes and colors, to look at and enjoy”.
This is a great book to read out loud, then talk about the different sounds and feelings kids associate with them. I know the sizzle of a grill makes me think of summer, and I can feel the warmth on my skin and taste the tart lemonade just thinking about it, and the scent of a box of crayons makes me feel excited, like I’m ready for the first day of school all over again. Have kids draw what different sounds make them think of, or describe them. I’ll be adding this book to my family storytime rotation for sure.
Do You Hear What I Hear? isn’t out until May, but take a look at some more of the beautiful art from the book, and pre-order from Amazon. Check out the publisher’s website for more picture books, and take a look at some of the outstanding artwork from Do You Hear What I Hear, below.