When I Listen to Silence
When a child is asked to "Please, be quiet!" they sit silent ... and their imagination sweeps them away on a breathtaking journey.
Through the window, the child can hear the trees breathe and watches them sway back and forth as they begin to dance. Then bears join in, accompanied by the child on their drum, making so much noise they wake up a dragon! The dragon's smoky breath fills the sky, and the wind forms a knight on a steed that gallops through the stars. The child's adventure continues, as one wonderful flight of fancy leads to the next, from pirates to mermaids to whales, until they find themselves sitting silent once again among the trees.
Jean E. Pendziwol has written a charming story-poem that looks at silence and stillness as an opportunity for the imagination and creativity to flourish. Carmen Mok's magical illustrations flow from one spread to the next like animation, in a palette inspired by vintage printmaking.
Key Text Features
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.
With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).
Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.
Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.
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About the Author
JEAN E. PENDZIWOL'S highly acclaimed picture books include When I Listen to Silence, illustrated by Carmen Mok; I Found Hope in a Cherry Tree, illustrated by Nathalie Dion; Me and You and the Red Canoe, illustrated by Phil; and Once Upon a Northern Night, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault (finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award and the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award). She lives in Northwestern Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior.
CARMEN MOK is an award-winning illustrator whose previous works include Cone Cat and When I Listen to Silence. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two cat "studio managers."
Fairy-tale flashes of color dart across this bubbly story that celebrates being alone with one's own thoughts and dreams.-- "Foreword Reviews"
Pendziwol's lilting, lyrical text ... shows that sometimes a moment of quiet freedom can be a wonderful gift to a child's imagination.-- "Quill & Quire"
A beautiful ode to imagination and the magic of silence.-- "Booklist"
Young readers can enjoy this small adventure either or on their own or in a group setting.-- "CM: Canadian Review of Materials"
Silence and stillness allows kids' imaginations to run wild.-- "CBC Books"
Jean E. Pendziwol's beguiling circular story-poem celebrates the powerful delights of the imagination.-- "Canadian Children's Book News"
When I Listen to Silence is a book that lets both parents and kids feel seen.-- "Quill & Quire"
The illustrations by Carmen Mak are soft and dark yet colourful all at once, giving an imaginative, dreamy vibe that is the perfect match for the story. This story ... helps to show how silence can be a positive thing, as it allows them the opportunity to dream up anything.-- "Miramichi Reader"