Name of Book: The Listening Walk
Author: Paul Showers
Publisher: Harper Collins
Audience: Ages 3 – 7
Summary:This is the story of a little girl who, while walking quietly with her father down city streets, a forest trail, a park path, and all around, encounters sounds—whrrring cars, bomping balls, prrroooing pigeons, bzzzing bees, waaaing babies.
Literary Elements at Work: This story is told from the perspective of a little girl, a little girl basking in the company of her father’s time and care, and in the glorious sense of sound! Using inventive spelling and “word” placement, Paul Showers helps the listener to hear the pigeon’s call, prrroooing; a baby’s cry, waaaing and many, many more glorious sounds. The tale is ushered along by the artistry of Aliki, who has been illustrating children’s literature since 1960! Aliki assists the listener in the journey of walking and listening by means of bright, vivid color and simple lines.
Psalm 150:6 “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.” Psalm 98 The psalmist tells us to sing to the LORD, and that all the earth sings songs of praise right along with us—the sea roars, the floods clap their hands, and the hills sing for joy! Isaiah 55:12 The prophet Isaiah echoes the psalmist by telling us that the mountains and hills break into singing and all the trees of the field clap their hands.
Theology: In the beginning, God so loved the world that God gave to it us; AND, God so loved us that God gave to us the world.
God has created mountains to sing, seas to roar, floods to clap and hills to break forth into singing. In addition, in an amazing act of extravagance God has given us to the mountains, and seas, and hills, and trees to plant and feed and tend. Praise God!
Additionally, God has created us, redeemed us, called us out by name, and numbered the hairs on our head. God has promised to be our God and the God of our descendants. In addition, in an amazing act of extravagance God has given to us zebras and gnats, peaches and chocolate, oceans and deserts, magnolias and clover, crickets and alligators.
Faith Talk Questions:
Sit beside your child, let her hold the book and turn the pages. Ask her to tell you what she hears on the first page, as she describes what she hears, point to the objects “making the sound;” read the first page following the words with your fingers; let her follow the words with her finger. (Cup her hand in yours and follow along together.) Repeat this process on each page. Talk about all the sounds you “hear” in the story. Are they soft or loud, pleasant or harsh, scary or happy? Try making the different sounds together. Try drawing the different sounds. Make a “listening journal.” Go outside and take a listening walk, noting or drawing all the different sounds you hear in your “listening journal.” As you walk around outside, consider using all of your senses—look at the colors, listen to the birds and insects, taste and smell the fragrances, feel the warmth of the summer sun or the cool of the fall breeze or the cold of the winter air. Talk about all the ways creation sings, hums, calls, clicks, scratches, etc. its prayers of praise to God. Write, color, paint, paste and glue your prayers of praise.
Review prepared by Union Presbyterian Seminary alumna Kim Lee
The Listening Walk by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.