cover image Listen to Our World

Listen to Our World

Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson, illus. by Melissa Sweet. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4424-5472-9

Sampson and the late Martin (Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3) offer a nominal introduction to animals and their homes, as well as a simple call to action: listen. “In the morning, Mommy gives us wake-up kisses and says, ‘Good morning, little one. Can you hear the sounds of our world?’ ” In the windows of many houses, mothers of different colors kiss their children while the words Listen! Listen! Listen! appear in the sky above. A page turn shows a parrot and three nestlings (“Around a giant kapok tree, bright parrots flit and fly. The rain forest is their world”). In vertically and horizontally oriented spreads, readers see families of Gila monsters, bald eagles, kangaroos, elephants, whales, and more, all shown where they live, all making noises to listen for. At last, the tale comes full circle as a mother bids her child good night. Caldecott Honor artist Sweet’s (The Right Word) artwork has a primitive, folk-art feel in line with her earlier books, with dreamy, subdued shades of green and blue throughout. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)