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Listen, Listen Review by Cindy West

By Phillis Gershator
Barefoot Books
2067 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140

What a beautiful, peaceful way to introduce the seasons to your little ones. Listen, Listen uses words and illustrations to help you "hear" the seasons as they go from summer to fall to winter to spring and back to summer again.

The text is very simple but powerful, making good use of onomatopoeia and rhyming text. Words like chirp, buzz, plop, squawk, whoosh and crackle will not only help your child understand certain seasonal happenings, but will grow their vocabulary, too.

The illustrations do a wonderful job of showing the sounds as well. What do I mean by that? "Plop, plop, acorns drop. Hurry, scurry, squirrels hop." The picture on this page shows acorns in various stages of falling from the tree with a squirrel running after one of the acorns before it falls to the ground. The words that might be new to a young child--plop, acorn, scurry--are uniquely illustrated so that the child gains a better understanding of the words. In addition, the illustrations are done in muted colors that look as if they've been antiqued,which brings an interesting peacefulness to the busyness of the scene.

At the end of the book, you will find a scene from each season on four different pages. Children are sent on a picture hunt in each one of those scenes to further reinforce what each season holds. For instance, in the summer scene, children are asked to find a butterfly, a daisy, a beetle and more. In the winter scene, they find such things as an icicle, a crow and a holly berry.

Our family has thoroughly enjoyed this book. It will definitely be waiting on the shelf for my toddler when he's ready for it!

Product review by Cindy West, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March 2008