by Gabi Snyder (Author) Stephanie Graegin (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

In the tradition of Tomie dePaola's Quiet and Scott Magoon's Breathe comes this lyrical, meditative picture book about listening and mindfulness.

BEEP! WOOF! VROOM! Isn't the world a noisy place? But what if you stop, close your eyes, and LISTEN? Can you hear each sound? Can you listen past the noise and hear the quiet, too?

Beautifully illustrated and poignant, this lovely picture book follows a girl through her school day as she listens to sounds across the city: caws of crows, shouts across the playground, and finally, the quiet beating of her heart and whispered goodnights.

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Publishers Weekly

In this book about auditory stimulus, Snyder (Two Dogs on a Trike) shows the steps behind taking cacophony apart, noise by noise. When a child with brown skin, dot eyes, and pigtail puffs steps out of a doorway and onto a city street, they're assailed by a wall of sound: a car says "BEEP!" while motor-scooters "VROOM!" and a moving van booms. "Listen," says the narrator. "Can you hear each sound?" The child pauses and closes their eyes, picturing the car, the scooter, and the other noise sources in vignettes, each one now distinct. At school, listening continues: playground sounds, storytime sounds, "words of joy... and words that can sting." A classmate's feelings are hurt: "Can you hear what she's feeling, too? A sob, a sigh, or even silence." Dusk falls, and Graegin (Fern and Otto) portrays city streets in a blue twilight that's studded with glowing lamps: "Listen... to nighttime hush and whispers." Back matter contains more about the sense of hearing ("The key difference between hearing and listening is attention"), including bottom-up, top-down, and startle responses. Snyder offers an introduction to mental focus, a skill whose enhancement may serve readers struggling to filter through a din. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Natalie Lakosil, Bradford Literary. Illustrator's agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (June)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Readers are encouraged to take a moment to listen to every sound around them. . . . Through sensory engagement, the narrative offers a fresh way to engage with the world, showing that even when the surroundings seem overwhelming, one has the power of attention—useful for learning, calm, empathy, and more. . . . Endmatter defines different modes of hearing and responding to sounds. . . .This book makes a memorable experience.—Kirkus Reviews, *STARRED REVIEW* "May 1, 2021"
Gabi Snyder
Gabi Snyder is the author of several picture books, including Two Dogs on a Trike, Listen, Today, and Look. She studied psychology at the University of Washington and creative writing at The University of Texas and is a member of SCBWI. When she's not writing, she loves taking nature walks, visiting Little Free Libraries, and baking sweet treats. She lives in Oregon with her family. Learn more at

Samantha Cotterill has written and illustrated many popular books for children, including the Little Senses series, Thankful and Heartfelt by Elaine Vickers, A Grand Day by Jean Reidy, Look by Gabi Snyder, Jinx and the Doom Fight Crime! by Lisa Mantchev, and Just Add Glitter by Angela DiTerlizzi, which The New York Times called "a sparkle of genius." Samantha lives with her family in upstate New York. Learn more at
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Publication date
July 13, 2021
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV039220 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Values & Virtues
JUV009110 - Juvenile Fiction | Concepts | Sounds
Library of Congress categories
City and town life

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