by Phillis Gershator • illustrated by Alison Jay
Story: Take a seat, lay this big board book across your lap, and explore a bounty of telltale sights and sounds that mark the seasons. From summer’s sizzling sun to winter’s crackling snow, prepare for senses to be teased by Phillis Gershator’s lively rhyming words and Alison’s Jays lavish illustrations. Locate the ‘can you see’ pages at the back of the book and search for the animals, insects, flowers, and trees that are the harbingers of each season.
★ "Jay’s stylized pictures, with the texture of ancient frescos, are a window into a world in which the buzz of an insect and the whoosh of the wind lend surprising emotion. Illustrations filled with snowmen, anthropomorphized animals, and people running through a leaf-swept field will make children long to discover what is just over a hill or around the next bend. Capturing a summer idyll reading in a hammock with the same care as a warm evening by the fireplace, Jay invests each image with both joy and melancholy. This jewel of a book will draw children back again and again"—Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
"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."—School Library Journal
Story behind the story: Listen, Listen marks the launch of the lap board book format for Barefoot Books. Meant for young children who are just learning the love of reading with their parent or teacher, the thicker pages of this edition allow small hands to grasp and turn them.