SOUND | Kirkus Reviews

A visual survey of the aural world, originally published in Ukraine.

Despite the ostensible topic, it’s the art and page design that occupy center stage in this large-format showcase. Done by and large in montages with much use of hot and Day-Glo hues, each eye-catching scene features a mix of flat or minimally modeled images of musical instruments and other sound producers, animal or human silhouettes, and graphic representations of sonic waves, lines, bursts, or blasts. Following a hard-to-parse observation that sound “attracts our attention, we listen for it—and then, we hear it” with a diagram of a human ear, double-page spreads arranged in no obvious order tally, for example, types of sound from natural to body noises, kinds of human singing voices and recording formats, how sound is measured, music-related jobs, spoken language and sign language. Most of the captions are printed in a lightweight, low-contrast typeface only a bit darker than the backgrounds, and some seem to have been arbitrarily swept to the backmatter, replaced by asterisks. After a thunderous rainfall evoked by solid, polychrome lines of streaming onomatopoeia, the volume is switched to low with a “mute sound” icon on an empty spread that leads to closing scenes of a couple embracing, a pregnant mother, and a young child toddling out “to listen, to hear, and to perceive our world.”

Jazzy, loud illustrations command—and merit—attention but can’t hide a higgledy-piggledy presentation.

(Informational picture book. 7-10)

Pub Date: today

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7978-0

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Handprint/Chronicle

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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