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LISTEN

Page history last edited by RichiesPicks 1 month, 3 weeks ago

27 July 2021 LISTEN by Gabi Snyder and Stephanie Graegin, ill., Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman, July 2021, 40p., ISBN: 978-1-5344-6189-5

 

“Nature provides countless opportunities for discovery, creativity, problem-solving and STEM education. Interacting with natural environments allows children to learn by doing and experiment with ideas. In nature, children think, question, and make hypotheses--thereby developing inquisitive minds.”

-- Bright Horizons, “Benefits of Nature for Kids” (2019)

 

“Listen to the sound

Let nothing disturb you”

-- Todd Rundgren, “Tiny Demons” (1981)

 

“When you step out into the big, wild world, sometimes all you hear is…

NOISE!

But what if you stop, close your eyes, and LISTEN?

Can you hear each sound?”

 

It's been twenty-five years since my daily circle times, but all I can think about after reading LISTEN is that I need a center full of preschoolers and either an easel pad or a white board.

 

We’d all put on our listening ears and go walking through the park or the neighborhood, listening intently for both natural and man-made sounds. Upon our return, we’d compile a list. I’d leave the list up for the week, encouraging the young listeners to go out in their backyards, or even drag a parent out for a walk, and then bring their aural observations to share and add to the list.

 

This, alone, makes LISTEN a valuable and engaging circle time read. 

 

But this is just the beginning, as author Gabi Snyder builds upon the initial, concrete concept, to encourage kids to explore multiple levels of higher listening behavior:

 

First, depicting a diverse group of preschoolers at circle time, young listeners are encouraged to listen to the individual words in a story.

 

“Can you hear new words? Listen to each sound. 

Some pop, like quick and snappy, while others stretch, like looong and leisurely

Listen.”

 

Now, with the focus on words, we are encouraged to consider the impact of the words around us, which can lead to development of compassion and empathy.

 

“Hear words of joy…

and words that sting.

Do you hear what your friend says?

Listen.

Can you hear what she’s feeling, too?

A sob, a sigh, or even silence.

Listen.”

 

I just love the manner in which the story begins with those concrete, pedestrian sounds and then moves to the more abstract concepts. 

 

The story concludes with young listeners being encouraged to listen to the voices inside of themselves.

 

Encouraging observation, mindfulness, and empathy, I think LISTEN is a big deal. 

 

Richie Partington, MLIS

Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.pbworks.com

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